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).
Put yourself in Mary’s place for a minute. Imagine the fear that must have struck her heart and the questions and thoughts that must have been racing through her mind. We read that Mary was greatly troubled, and you can almost hear the shock in her voice as she asks, “How can this be?”
Often, we are afraid of what God is calling us to. We doubt God’s power to use us to accomplish great things in our world. We often settle for less than the greatness we were made for because we let fear or doubt or shame get in the way. Pope Benedict XVI says, “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” What God asked of Mary was certainly not easy and certainly not comfortable, but Mary had faith in the angel’s words, “Nothing will be impossible for God.” That faith led Mary to the deepest love imaginable, and that love led Mary to offer her heart in humble service to the Lord, to the point of calling herself his handmaid. And in that humble service, she found great peace.
In following the Lord’s will and her calling, Mary found peace. Mary still experienced some of the same fears and trials as we do in this life, but she did not let that get in the way of her love for God and her desire to follow his will perfectly. My prayer for each one of you is that in these last few days leading up to Christmas you will find peace and love in welcoming the Lord into your heart and following His will. Do not be afraid of your calling. You too were made for greatness.
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.
Imagine you were Mary... How would you have felt in that situation? Guys, imagine being Joseph and trying to understand all this from the woman you love. How do you feel? Would you trust the Lord like they did?
Do you ever choose comfort over greatness? Why do you think you do this? What can you do to help youself live for the greatness and love fall into mere comfort?
What does peace mean to you? Have you ever truly felt peace in your life? What can you do diferently to let peace reign in your heart?
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 am made for GREATNESS."
"Peace is greater than comfort."
"Hail Mary, full of grace!"
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?
Christmas break is starting and it is so easy to just be comfortable until school starts up again. We should definitely relax, but make a legit plan today to grow during break and let peace reign in your heart this Christmas.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Assistant Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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