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 Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. It’s the celebration of the day the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would be the Mother of God.
If we think of it in human terms, instead of as a story we’ve heard 35 times, the scene is striking. First, there’s the fact that an angel appeared to her. Mary was troubled, and why wouldn’t she be? She was alone in her house. An angel had never appeared to her before.
The angel did bring her comfort in telling her not to be afraid, but then he dropped something even more unexpected: the news that she would be the Mother of God.
Mary said, “yes,” the answer known as her “fiat,” and then the angel left her.
This scene is key for us to think about when learning to have greater trust. There is first the idea of fiat — Mary’s yes to the Lord. In her own way of humility and simplicity, Mary utters one of the most powerful, and beautiful, lines in Scripture: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
The Lord asked her to be the Mother of God. And she said yes, with no hesitation or even true knowledge of what that yes might mean. Think of “fiat” in our lives. Do you say yes to the Lord, no matter what He asks of you? How much do you hesitate in saying yes in the small questions, let alone the big ones?
Oftentimes we will say “yes” to God, but then we get stuck, and perhaps become frustrated or distrusting. “Lord, I said, ‘Yes.’ Now tell me what’s next!”
All the angel told Mary was that she would be the Mother of God—and then he departed.
Think of the gravity of this for a minute. The angel didn’t give Mary a guidebook. He didn’t tell her how it would happen, or how she’d be cared for. He left her alone, as a not yet married woman, with the knowledge she would bear a son.
In a small way, our journeys are often the same way. We are given the chance to say “yes” (or “no”) to what God is asking of us. And then we are called to an even greater trust — where we, like Mary, have the angel visibly leave us in a way, and we have to continue to trust that the Lord will guide us every single step of the journey, even when we don't specifically see or hear Him.
As we remain through this time of Lent, let us stay close to Mary. Let’s reflect on her yes, and her continued trust for the next nine months (and the rest of her life). When we feel like we don’t know the exact path to follow once we have responded to the Lord, let’s remember that Mary didn’t either. But, God clearly and carefully guided her every step of the way, as He will 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.
Think about some times recently when you have had the chance to say 'yes' or 'no' to God. What have you chosen? Were they big decisions or small moments?
What is it that sometimes makes it difficult for you to say 'yes' to God's will in your life? How can you work on that 'yes' to say it with Mary?
What is your devotion to Mary like? In this Lent, how can you walk with her and let her teach you to trust as she did?
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 trust You."
"I choose Your will."
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?
Think of something in your life that you know, today, you have the chance to say 'yes' to God. It doesn't have to be big, but think of it and say 'yes.' Follow Him in the way He's calling you to follow today.
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. Since today is a Solemnity, we've added a little color the lock screen. Enjoy!
Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott, a graduate of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio currently living in Washington D.C.