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).
Christmas is the season of light! The many lights that we put on our Christmas decorations, the electric candles by the windows, the Christmas light shows in front of homes, in religious institutions, and yes, even in commercial business and public places. For some of us who live in Chicago and in the nearby suburbs, we would always make it a point to drive to the city just to see the beautiful lights displayed in the beautiful and magnificent mile. We may not see anything in those displays anything that would resemble the true meaning of Christmas, but the fact that we use light is enough to lead us to the true meaning of this season...God is light.
The light of the Christmas star points directly to its source, Jesus in the manger. It was the light that guided the shepherds and the magi to the true Light, the sun that never sets, Jesus Christ. It is no wonder that when Jesus was about to die on that first Good Friday, St. Mark tells us that there was darkness over all the land.
Despite all the displays of lights during this season, so many of us live in constant darkness within. The light of the screen; our over-exposure to the passing lights from our televisions, computers, tablets, and most especially our constant companions, our smartphones, have diminished the light within, has dimmed the spark that brings joy. For many of us, these lights have taken the rest intended by God for His children and have robbed us of our ability to walk together in true friendship with God and one another. Loneliness and depression has become the constant companion of many people, young and old, often caused by over-extended hours before these technological gadgets that entertain our emotions but darken our hearts and minds and our ability to true and lasting friendships and interpersonal relationship. Most especially, and most damagingly is when this light has diminished our ability for intimacy with the person of Jesus Christ, our only Light.
I pray that today, we can try to turn off all of these gadgets for a period of time. Enjoy true family bonding while we still have our Christmas decorations, leftover cookies, and enjoy the light of love that still sparks within, beckoning us to give and share ourselves to others. May the light of Jesus that knows no darkness, be with you today.
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.
God, what are the lights I have been focused on that have removed my gaze from You, the true Light? How should I turn more completely to You this Christmas season?
In what ways do You want to show me Your face now more than ever?
How can I be more open to the joy that comes in truly celebrating Your birth? How can I continue celebrating Christmas well as I move forward in this season?
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.
"Show me Your face."
"You are my true Light."
"In You there is no darkness."
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?
At some point during this Christmas season, take time to intentionally disconnect from technology and connect with someone else as well as with the Lord. Silence your phone for prayer, and make an effort to spend time with a family member or friend while neither of you is distracted by anything and can truly be in friendship with one another.
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 Fr. Ervin Caliente.