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).
Today’s Gospel reminds me of another passage where Jesus is talking of a similar topic and he says, “Can you not recognize the signs?” Today he talks about the fig trees, when they bloom we know it’s summer.
Now I know that it’s almost winter now, the days are colder, the sun is setting earlier, and I’m wrapped up in a blanket with my slippers on more often than not. I look outside my window and recognize that the signs of winter are all around me and I act appropriately. I wear a coat, drink lots of hot tea, and like being inside more than outside.
Here in the south, spring comes rather early. Waking up to the birds singing, flowers blooming on the trees, and a warmer climate are all signs that spring are coming. When I think about the signs that govern the seasons, I’m excellent and reading them and predicting the weather.
But how am I at predicting the signs that Jesus is coming? We are in the final week of the Church year; Sunday is our Liturgical New Year as we begin Advent. This past week we’ve been reflecting on readings that look toward the second coming of Christ. The next two weeks will follow these same theme. In Advent we begin by reflecting on the 2nd coming and end by reflecting on the 1st coming of Christ.
Am I reading the signs of the times? Am I preparing my heart for the second coming? Paul speaks of it in the new testament as if it would come during his lifetime (it did not). However, the second coming of Christ could be during our lifetimes, we don’t know. Christ tells us that we will know neither the day nor the hour, but we are to be awake and ready for when it does.
Am I committed to my relationship with Him or am I waiting for some time in the future when I can get started on that? Am I in right relationship with my family and friends? Are there people I need to forgive? Are there people I need to ask for forgiveness from? Have I been to confession lately? Am I a regular at Sunday Mass?
Spend a few moments today and tomorrow preparing yourself for Advent. Take time to settle on a Liturgical New Year’s Resolution that will help to strengthen your faith in this new year. Maybe it’s a daily decade of the Rosary or monthly Confession or taking a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect and be grateful.
You know neither the day nor the hour that our Lord is coming, so what will you do today to prepare?
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 are you and Jesus? Spend a few moments in prayer thinking about your relationship.
Are you ready for Christ to come again? Why or why not?
How can I prepare myself for Jesus's coming?
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.
"Jesus is coming."
"Prepare the way of the Lord."
"Am I ready?"
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?
Make a resolution for the liturgical New Year. What can you do to better your relationship with Christ?
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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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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