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 first reading comes from perhaps one of the more unknown sections of Sacred Scripture, that of the Wisdom literature. This can be a more difficult read for us who have the Revelation of Christ, but it need not be so. The early bishops of the Church, known as the Church Fathers, saw the Old Testament as a prefiguring of the New Testament of Christ. In the words of Saint Augustine: the "New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New."
For the Wisdom literature, specifically from the Wisdom of Sirach, many of the early Church Fathers saw Wisdom as a type, or prefiguring, of Our Lady. Like any mother, Our Lady dispenses to us, her children, wisdom and knowledge. Primarily through prayer, especially the Most Holy Rosary, she gives us wisdom and insight into the life of Christ as we ponder with her the mysteries of His Life, Death, and Resurrection. Now, Wisdom in the Old Testament is not Mary in a physical sense, as she did not exist before her own birth as Christ did. However, the Fathers still see Lady Wisdom as a type of Mary, as God knew about Mary from all eternity. As you re-read this passage from Sirach, insert the name of Mary where we see "Wisdom" or "She".
Is it not true that we who seek Mary are embraced by the Lord? That we who serve Mary serve the Holy One, her Son? That we who love Mary are in turn loved by the Lord?
This is all surely true. We have in Mary a mother and a model of how to be a Christian. She bestows on us the wisdom that she learned, especially in sorrow at the Cross. Being full of grace and without sin, she was able to participate as fully as possible at the foot of the Cross of her Lord and Son. She united her sorrows to His and in turn is now the perfect model and guide on how to follow her Son. In fact, one of Mary's titles is known as Mary Seat of Wisdom, as she carried our savior in her.
As Lent begins next week, let us take Mary as our model of prayer and of wisdom. Let us learn from her on how to unite ourselves to Christ in His Passion, now presented for us at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Each Mass let us realize that we are present on Calvary with Mary at the feet of her Son. When Our Lord comes down to us and is truly present in the Holy Mass, let us adore and contemplate with Mary the mysteries of His Life, Death, and Resurrection, which for us is the way to eternal life with Him forever.
To Jesus through Mary! Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!
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 can you strengthen it?
How does Mary lead you closer to her Son?
What wisdom do need from Mary?
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, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!"
"To Jesus from Mary."
"Grant me Wisdom Lord."
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?
Today, spend some time with Mary. Pray a decade of the rosary and look at Christ's life through her eyes.
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 Kevin Poynton, graduate of the University of Dayton with a Degree in Religious Studies.
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