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).
"Further up and further in.”
It is the last day of the year, a natural day to reflect on what went well, what was hard and how we can improve for next year. Last year at this time, I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the very first time. I saw Christmas come in the land where it was always winter, voyaged on the Dawn Treader, encountered dragons, and came to the last battle. If you haven’t read the series, I highly recommend it (and I will try not to give away too many spoilers.)
At the Last Battle, the children, those that know the truth have returned to Narnia. Only it is no longer Narnia, they are finding a new world, more beautiful world.
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now...Come further up, come further in!”
― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
These words of C.S. Lewis echoed in my head today as I read the first reading. It is the last hour. Maybe not the last hour of your life, but maybe it is. It is for sure though the last hours of the year. How are you living? Where are you going?
Both C.S. Lewis and John are calling us home. John is writing to those that know the truth. Those that know Jesus is their savior, that He died for them. So many have left, so many have turned their backs from the truth. But John asks us to carry on.
In the Last Battle, the world of Narnia is ending, yet Aslan is calling them to press on, “further up and further in.” He is calling us to our home.
We need to be preparing for the after life. We need to be preparing for heaven. We need to be living the truth and inviting others in. We should live each day this way, not just December 31st. “Further up and further in”, will you journey there?
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.
Reflect on your last year, what in your life is different? How would you like next year to be different?
In the last year, how have you been preparing for the end? Have you or maybe you have not?How can you live your faith to be further prepared?
What truths of the faith do you know? How can you share them?
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.
"Further up, further in."
"It is the last hour."
"I know the truth."
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?
Spend some time today writing down the ways you saw God work in your life over the last year. Then spend some time in prayer and ask God how He wants to work in your life next year.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.