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).
There’s a lot going on right now, and the same is true for today’s Gospel. So, in the midst of everything, what are you waiting for?
Maybe you’re like Mary and Joseph: God gave you a specific task, and you know what you’re supposed to do. You’re committed to following Him wherever He leads you; you wait in peace for God’s tug on your heart, and then off you go, trusting God every step of the way. You’ve made that decision to follow Him no matter how hard it gets, no matter how painful those heart-piercing swords might be; and while it’s challenging at times, you know this mission is worth more than anything else in the world.
Or maybe you just read that paragraph with only one thought in your head, thinking “If only that was me." Maybe you’re like the widowed prophetess Anna, and you’ve certainly had your share of sadness and suffering and so you wait right by God's side, offering up whatever you can to be close to Him.
Or maybe you know you're supposed to be exactly where you are, but the next step hasn't been fully revealed yet. Waiting, like Simeon, for the promise of a future full of hope and joy. You’re not sure where to go for now, you’re not sure what lies ahead, so you’re waiting, trying your best to simply stay with God.
Or maybe you can’t fully relate to any of these perspectives, and that’s fine too. Wherever you are, each of these perspectives offers a unique take on waiting.
Waiting with God isn’t about sitting idly, letting life pass you by. It’s about boldly being directly at Christ’s side, giving everything to Him and giving Him full control of your life. It’s about loving recklessly, living with abandon, going along with whatever God has willed for you. Waiting with Christ is dangerous because you’re no longer in control of your life; God is. For Joseph and Mary, their waiting was staying by God’s side, going wherever He told them to, and waiting to see how their vocation as parents would play out. For Anna, that waiting was more like the waiting we know now: she didn’t quite know what she was waiting for, but she spent all her days waiting, praying, fasting and offering up whatever she could. Simeon, like Anna, also waited out of love for God; except He knew what was coming. He knew that his current calling was to stay in Jerusalem, going and doing whatever daily tasks God wanted from him. So when God called him into the temple one day, he went.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re waiting for, take today to consider how you’re waiting. Are you waiting directly with God, at His side, willing to go wherever He calls you? Or are you waiting anxiously, hesitant to believe His call will even come? Are you listening to God’s call at all?
Wherever you are, let today’s Gospel be the start of a conversation between you and God. If He’s calling you to wait for something, well, you’re in great company.
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.
Which of those states of waiting do you relate to best? What does that look like in the big and small ways of your life?
How are you waiting well, at the side of Jesus, right now in your life? What are some ways you need to learn to wait in a more intentional, fruitful way?
What is God calling you to wait for? Are you willing to give that to God and wait for His time, not yours?
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.
"Help me patiently wait for you Lord!"
"Live every moment with purpose."
"The best things in life are worth waiting for."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take sometime to think and pray about what God may be calling you to now and in the future. Make a list of things God is calling you to do today and do them. Also, make a list of what God is calling you to give up or patiently wait for, and give that to God.
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 Tatiana Schaffer, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne studying Engineering and Psychology.