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).
Both readings today reflect on a beautiful disposition of two holy women. We have Hannah in the first reading who gives thanks to the Lord for the gift of her son Samuel. Then we have the queen of all mothers, Mary, who also proclaims the greatness of the Lord because of the gift of Jesus in her womb.
In life there are two levels of giving thanks. First off, we give thanks for ordinary routine things that happen in our daily lives: thank you to someone handing us a coffee at the local café; thanks to the barber or stylist for cutting our hair; thanks to the person who holds the door open for us at church. We could list numerous of these smaller, nonetheless important everyday things to gift thanks for. But, the second level of giving thanks is a little different. We give thanks for those bigger, more meaningful experiences that happen in our lives: thanksgiving for the gift of my family; thank you for the gift of shelter and food; thank you for the gift of my vocation; thank you for the gift of life and especially the gift of Jesus wanting to be present in our lives. Hannah and Mary teach us how to give thanks for such a significant gift. It’s a thanksgiving that offers a total gift of self.
Recently I passed a Christian Church and written on the kiosk was a powerful phrase, which said, “What does God want for Christmas?” And directly below was the answer, “Look in the Mirror?” The true gift of Christmas is fast approaching, and the Lord Jesus is seeking to enter into our lives in a new and more profound way. The question for us is do we respond with ordinary thanksgiving, like the response to a barista, a barber, or a courteous person, or do we respond like Mary and Hannah who recognized the greatness of the gift, looked in the mirror and then gave their lives to the Lord?
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 the ordinary routine things you are thankful for?
What are the bigger, more meaningful experiences that you are thankful for?
How are you giving your life to the Lord?
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 praise and thank you, Lord."
"I give you my life."
"My soul proclaims your greatness."
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?
When you look in the mirror today, use that moment as an opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of life and to offer your day to Him.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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