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).
I tend to talk a lot. Sometimes I say wise things, most of the time I feel like I just say too much. I also tend to question God when He sends me awesome people or things in my life. Like I am doubting His goodness or something. It is not something I am proud of, I am just being honest. That is what scares me so much about today’s Gospel. If I was in Zechariah’s shoes (or sandals I guess) I would have done the EXACT same thing. I know this because I do it all the time now, after already hearing this story.
All God wants to do is tell me the amazing things He has in store for me and I am like, but how because this, or that, or whatever. I let my shame and insecurity prevent me from even hearing the joy the Lord has for me, let alone receiving it! He has these crazy and wonderful plans for me everyday; when will I learn? And He has equally great plans for each and every one of you. Like for real though, He has more amazing plans than you could even image! Plans that will bring you joy and fulfillment at a level beyond what this world could ever offer on its own.
This Advent I have been trying to stop looking so much and start to receive more. God’s blessings are so obvious and it is clear that I am looking right past them, usually to something shiny but ultimately disappointing. Something that seems too simple or too good to be true, might be the Christmas present you need most and that God desires to give you so much. No matter how big or small, trust the Lord and His plans for you. He wants you to be filled with joy even more than you do! That’s a pretty awesome God to have!
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.
How often do you take time in prayer to be silent and listen to the Lord?
Do you trust that the Lord has great plans for you? Do you look forward to God's plans with joy and hope?
What does God want you to receive today?
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.
"I trust You."
"You are joy."
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?
Praise God for the many blessings He has given to you. Take time to really look at your life and your relationship with God. Look at how you address Him, how often you listen, how you can grow to listen to, hope and trust in God more.
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 Sean Norris, Youth Minister at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights, IL.