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).
As I'm sure you know, Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas started the weekend before Halloween with a different Christmas movie every day. I believe it's 37 new ones this year to be precise. If you've seen one Hallmark Christmas movie, you've seen them all. Girl meets boy, girl doesn't like boy because she's dating someone else/sworn off dating entirely/has a feud with boy or his family/doesn't live in the same state/is disappointed in men, either girl or boy aren't really *into* Christmas, boy falls in love with girl by accident, boy helps girl decorate Christmas tree/make Christmas cookies/throw Christmas gala - in general save Christmas, boy and girl kiss and live happily ever after.
I mean, they're all the same. So what's the point of this?
I'm not someone who watches all of the Hallmark movies, I don't even have a TV or cable to be able to sit down every night with a cup of hot chocolate and be transported to a land (usually Canada, that's where they are all filmed) where Christmas is in danger and then saved in less than 2 hours. But I do hold out for a few of them each year because I like some of the actors and let's face it, they're cute and sweet. No one gets to a battle, has their gut punctured with a sword, and you see their insides come out (actual movie I watched at a friend's house a few weeks ago ... not my style at all).
So, again, back to the point. Advent, Christmas, Hallmark, and Jesus! Candace Cameron Bure starred this year in a Shoe Addict's Christmas which had a sweet story buried in the end about sleighs and how the Lord is there, but He disguises Himself.
The snow starts coming down and piling up. A man starts praying to the Lord to save Him. A sleigh comes by as the snow is about 2 feet and asks if he needs help. He says, "No, the Lord will save me." Then the snow rises and a bigger sleigh comes by asking if He needs help. He says, "No, the Lord will save me." Then he's on the roof, the snow's super high, and a giant sleigh comes by and asks if He needs help. He says, "No the Lord will save me." Then the man drowns, and he meets the Lord face-to-face and says, "Why didn't you save me?" The Lord replies, "I sent you a three different sleighs - what were you waiting for?"
How many times does the Lord come to us and we don't recognize Him? How many prophets have come throughout the Old Testament and the people of God continued to say: "When will you save us from this oppression/famine/heartache?" How many times do we dismiss the Lord when He doesn't come how we've decided He should?
Recognize Him today. He's coming to be with you today! It might not be in the exact way you thought it would be. It might be a Hallmark movie telling you to "Wake Up, it's time to save Christmas!" (Okay, probably not - but maybe!) He's revealing Himself to you every day in the sunrise, via your family and friends, in the good works of other people, in the way the clouds are different every day, in the sunset, in your prayer, in the Mass!
He's here, are your eyes open?
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.
So far this Advent season, where have you seen God? How has he been trying to speak to you and show himself to you?
In your life, what are the things that make it difficult for you to see God and hear Him?
In the rest of Advent and into Christmas, what is God asking you to do in order to focus on seeing him when he shows himself to you?
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 want to see you."
"Help me never miss you."
"Show me your face."
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?
Today, take time to do something to prepare for Christmas that doesn't involve busyness or money. Maybe make some cookies, help decorate the tree, or even just watch a Christmas movie. As you do this, ask God to show you how slowing down and preparing for Christmas will help you be ready to truly meet Him.
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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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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