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 is the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. Which is cool.
In this First Reading from Genesis, we hear the story of creation at the moment of the fall. It's sort of a depressing thing, of course, man has just rejected God, and almost immediately they are dealing with the reality of what that means. Their union with God is lost, they realize they are naked, and they are hiding. Then, God comes and begins to explain the punishments as the result of this.
Why does the Church choose this reading for a feast day of Mary? Because it is in this very moment that the Father promises salvation! In Genesis 3:15, a verse that we call the "Protoevangelium" or "First Gospel", we hear the first promise of salvation. What is this promise? There will be a woman, and between her and her offspring and Satan enmity will be placed.
From the beginning of the Church, this has been understood to point to Mary, often called the New Eve, and Jesus, the New Adam. Through one man and woman sin entered the world, and now through one man, Jesus, and the 'yes' and obedience of his mother Mary, redemption is coming. From the very worst moment in mankind's history comes the greatest hope ever imaginable: a Savior who would leave heaven and become man just so that we never need to feel alone or stuck in our sin.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus came to bring us life. From the beginning, when we were separated from God, He was promised. And He came. And now, in and through the Church and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can have the life that was lost in sin. A life that is beautiful, joyful, and full here on earth and eventually eternal. The other option is death, but in Jesus our Savior we have seen death defeated and been offered life. Like the New Eve, Mary, the Mother of the Church, let's say yes and let Jesus bring us back into intimate, eternal relationship with the Father.
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 is your relationship with Mary? How does she lead you to Jesus? How does she lead you to the Church?
Where in your life do you need Jesus?
Where in your life do you need the Church?
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.
"Mary is the new Eve."
"Pray for us, Mary of the Church."
"Lord I need 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?
How are you involved in the Church? Do you volunteer? Do you just attend on Sundays? Commit to one way to growing your participation in the Church.
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 Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.