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).
When you read the Nativity story, you see Jesus as a tiny little baby wrapped in swaddling clothing and lying in a manger. We focus on how Christ entered our world, and what a joy it was! He came into the world in such a humble manner- no large fanfare or parade to welcome the Son of God. Just a tiny stable in Bethlehem. Rejoiced by only those who loved Him and knew about who this child really was and would be. But don't most of us start out life this way? Not that we were all born in humble mangers, but we, too, were born from the wombs of our mothers into a world that only those who love us rejoice over our birth.
The Lord God could have chosen any way to enter this world- it is His world after all. Jesus took the form of man, and He took that commonality very seriously. He became like His brothers and sisters in every way yet without sin. He was tempted. He was annoyed. He was embarrassed. He ate good food. He probably ate some bad food. He listened to great stories and long, boring stories too. He suffered. Yes, our Lord chose to suffer greatly- for us. Because of this suffering, He is able to understand what it is like to suffer from personal experience. Therefore, He is able to help His brothers and sisters.
My spiritual director is constantly reminding me to look at Scripture to find places where Jesus was tempted or where Jesus dealt with a similar situation as I am confronted with. Now for me, that is sometimes tricky because I live my daily life with two little ones, and I'm not sure Jesus ever fought with a four year old over why she needs to wear pants or why you shouldn't sit on your brother's head! But when we look at Jesus' life, we can find places where Jesus experienced the human emotion or suffering. There were times that Jesus was annoyed or times when Jesus dealt with irrational arguments. My spiritual director says once you find those moments ask Jesus, "What grace did you win for us in this moment?" What grace can we find from how Christ handled the situation? He experienced what we experience, yet He did so without sin.
Just as it says in Hebrews today, "Because He Himself was tested… He is able to help those who are being tested." What a great Lord we have. He was willing to make Himself so small, experience suffering, and after all that, He wants to lead us to God. God became man so that He could bring man to God. What a joy that truly is!
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 are your daily, mundane struggles? What are some experiences where you struggled to act virtuously as a disciple of Christ?
What story or event from Jesus' life relates most to your own personal experiences of struggle or suffering? How can you act like Christ the next time you are in a similar situation?
How often do you consider the humanity of Christ, that He faced all the same temptations and difficulties as you? How can you invite Christ more into your life today and let yourself be more untied to Him?
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.
"Be with me."
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 spend some time looking through the scriptures and find an event in Christ's life that you relate most to. Write or print out this passage and carry it with you to remind yourself that Christ is always with you, always offering you the grace to do what is right and what will help you grow closer to Him.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.
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