Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
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).
How many of us have a memory of a class in school, where our teacher gave a wonderful explanation of a concept, whether it was of history, of mathematics, of language, and the like? We may not have an experience of this for each teacher or professor that we've had, and that may make these unique events even more special for us.
We see the preface of our Gospel today from the beginning of Saint Luke's account of the Gospel, setting forth a historical testimony of the life of Christ as it had been told through the Early Church. The account then moves to the beginning of Jesus' public ministry in His hometown of Nazareth. On the sabbath day, Christ arises to proclaim from the prophet Isaiah.
After proclaiming this, He handed the scroll of the Scriptures back to the minister and sat down. Then Jesus announces 'Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.' This is a small detail, of Christ sitting first before speaking, but nonetheless it is very important. In Jewish custom, one who held authority would sit before teaching.
If we remember certain episodes of teachers in our past teaching us in school, how much more so should we recall this first proclamation of Christ. What is it that He is teaching us? It is that He, anointed by the Holy Spirit and in union with the Will of God, Christ has come to bring us good news, also called the Gospel. Of what does this good news consist?
In a spiritual sense, He comes to liberate us from the snares of the world, the flesh, and the devil. We are captive to the world, so often bowing to the pressures of society and culture. We are blinded in our flesh, often seeing only that which is pleasurable and passing. We are oppressed by the devil, born into original sin and temptation.
Jesus frees us from the worries of this life in the world. He does not take away our need to be concerned with them, especially those matters relating to our Faith, our family, and our nation, but He liberates us from the paralyzing worrying about these things. In Him is our rest and our safety and it is with His strength and grace that we persevere through this life. He also opens the eyes of our soul and our bodies, through our Baptism, to recognize the things that are from above and how they relate to our life here below. Prayer, fasting, penance, help of the poor, et cetera. Our flesh groans against these because it does not provide us immediate benefit, but Christ promises us these as beautiful and fulfilling. Finally, ultimately by His Death and Resurrection, Christ frees us from the devil, the ancient enemy, and restores us to friendship with God.
Going forward, let us always listen to Christ the Teacher. Just as He sat and preached so long ago in Nazareth concerning His coming as the Messiah, let us come and listen to Our Teacher, who sits and waits on every altar and within every tabernacle with Divine Love for each and every one of us.
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.
What is a time in your life that you clearly remember something that someone has taught you? How has that impacted your life?
What do you think Jesus is trying to tell you, trying to teach you, today? How can that impact your life?
How can we more carefully listen to what God is trying to teach us?
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.
"Jesus I trust in You."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"Teach me, Lord."
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?
Learn something new today. Let someone teach you something you don't know, and then let God teach you something you don't know as well.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Kevin Poynton, graduate of the University of Dayton with a Degree in Religious Studies.
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