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).
“In His name the Gentiles will hope.”
Hope is an interesting concept in our world today, not just as Christians but human beings in general. I feel it is so easy for us to “lose hope”. If you are like me, you may find ourself at times feeling helpless or even hopeless trying to navigate your life in our busy world with all that is going on in it.
My son is a little over a year old and when I think about all the different things that we as Christians have to deal with, and the difficulties of living our faith in, or raising a child in our world today, it is easy to feel like we are fighting a losing battle at times. However, here in a simple line, it reaffirms for us this idea that He is the ultimate source of hope, even when we are feeling like what is the point.
It is a very natural thing to struggle with this, to feel like we have no hope. Just like the Gentiles, who were a people who were seen as removed from salvation and hope entirely, Christ comes and shows us that he is the ultimate source of hope, and joy even when we may feel hopeless.
Some of you might feel like that is a really nice idea, but how can I find hope in Christ? The answer is as simple as a daily prayer life. This is so often the answer to many of our problems, but that doesn’t mean that it is any less true. Christ does not want to just hear the good aspects of our lives in prayer. He wants the truth, he wants our baggage and our hopelessness. In our social media-driven world, it is easy to see everyone and think their life is so much better. If we feel hopeless because we are constantly comparing ourselves and the good things in other peoples lives, then we can easily find ourselves feeling isolated and alone in our problems.
I once heard a priest say that social media is someone’s “highlight reel” and what can happen is we are then comparing our messy lives to a person’s best moments, which is totally unrealistic. If you are struggling with finding peace or hope because of the world around you, you need to bring that to Christ in prayer and He will guide you and help you find hope in Him. However, if you never bring these things to Christ or talk about the real things going on in your life with friends and family then you can very easily feel isolated and alone.
So, today in prayer think about the things in your life that are difficult, the things that are causing you to doubt or feel hopeless and bring them to Christ, and keep bringing them to Him and in Him, you will find hope in Him.
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.
In what was is your life difficult right now? What are some obstacles in front of you? (if you can't think of any that are on the front of your mind, take some time to thank God for that!)
Have you asked God to be in the midst of your trials and bring hope? Whether or not you have, do that now. Invite him into the midst of that.
How can you do an even better job of ensuring you make time for daily prayer to continue to allow him to be your hope and each and every day?
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.
"You are our hope."
"Your name is hope."
"Jesus I trust in you."
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?
Throughout the day today, pause at least 10 times and simply say the name of Jesus. His name is the name in which we find hope, and so find some time today – maybe when you are about to enter a difficult situation or conversation or just when you have a moment in a busy day – and simply say his name, inviting him to be present in those moments.
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 Jason Liuzzi, a middle school religion teacher at St. John the Evangelist School in St John, IN.
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.