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).
The feast of the Holy Family is one of my favorites (but I do have quite a few “favorite” feast days). The Holy Family provides such a great example to us, even though we don’t know much from the childhood of Jesus and St. Joseph doesn’t say a single word in scripture.
One of my favorite verses about the Holy Family is from this Gospel passage. “[Jesus] went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:51.
One reason I love this verse is how Jesus was obedient to his parents as he grew up. Sometimes when I reflect on the Holy Family, I wonder how Joseph handled living with the only two people who have walked his earth without sin. I think it shows just how holy he must have been, being that close with both Jesus and Mary.
Another reason I love this verse is that Mary “kept all these things in her heart.” There is so much I need to learn from Mary, but pondering things in my heart is something I want to work on. Too often when things happen, I turn to my friends and complain about it. Sometimes it’s good to talk through a situation, but I really only need to talk it through with one or two people then take it God and ponder it in my heart.
Pondering can be different for everyone. I consider pondering as bringing what is going on to God in prayer, but then truly surrendering it. The hardest part for me is then trusting God once I have surrendered it to Him. The Holy Family is a good example of trusting God because more often than not they were told what to do, but not given a reason.
Today, let us pray for the Holy Family to show us how to better surrender to and trust God.
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 some times you have been able to surrender and trust God? Why were you able to do that?
What are some times you knew you should surrender and trust God, but didn't? Why didn't you? Would you do it differently now?
Do you try and model your family after the Holy Family? How can you learn to love your family more 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.
"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."
"Come Holy Spirit."
"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?
Show someone in your family that you love them today. If your family is not around, then reach out to someone at your church or in your community. Try to follow in the footsteps of love that the Holy Family gave us.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Denver, CO.
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