Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
It’s easy to look at the world around us and be discouraged. We’re living in an age of countless struggles, issues, fights, and uphill battles, and it seems that every week there’s something new to be heaped onto the pile. We fight for our rights and dignity as human persons, to protect the gifts that God has given us in one another and our earthly home, and every time there is a victory, it seems we are reminded of all of the struggles yet to be overcome. For my part, it can be difficult to not only see the end game of a world at peace, but more importantly, to remember that this is what the Lord has promised us.
When news feeds seem to only show the negative, with the rare glimpse of hope in the midst of such mounting struggle, the promises upon which we have staked our very lives can be lost and forgotten. In this season of Advent, as we begin a new year in our Church and look back to our past to join in the ancient expectation of our ancestors, we are confronted with a renewed hope in what is to come. Today’s readings are a glimpse of the great future that God has in store for us. Pick any line from the first reading and the psalm and see the beautiful future that will come when our King reigns in fulness in the new heaven and new earth. There is peace in the Kingdom of God, and in the beginning of Advent, our Mother Church reminds us of that “thrill of hope” that strengthens our drooping knees.
The joy of the Father, the peace of the Spirit, and the love of Jesus Christ, our King, will reign in harmony and fulness forever. Despite the struggle that we face, which wears on each and every one of us in ways big and small, there is hope for what the Lord has promised us. As easy as it is to lose this vision of hope, we can be consoled today by the words of our Lord, “although you have hidden these things form the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
As you begin this Advent, dare to live in the hope and wonder of a child. Be overwhelmed by the restful peace that will reign in the Kingdom of God and share in the joy that Christ has in the Spirit and in his Father. In the face of weariness, frustration, and despair, rest in your trust in the Lord. Let your drooping heads and shaking knees be raised and strengthened by the expectation of the coming of the Lord in his Nativity and in his coming again, in the fullness of time, to usher in this Kingdom of peace.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Where do I need peace in my life?
How am I facing despair in light of the world around me? Where is Jesus in this struggle?
In what ways am I preparing myself for the Kingdom that is to come this Advent? How can I commit to better prepare myself for that day?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"You are my peace."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"My hope is in you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Sit with the first reading and psalm today and make a list of the peaceful imagery that are promised by the Lord. Make note of the consolation that comes in contemplating this future and pray specifically for the Lord to bring about this peace!
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Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
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