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 feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. She died at the young age of 24, like so many other great young saints. But, by age 24, she had already lived a remarkably full life.
Elizabeth was a queen. She married the love of her life at age 14. She was a mother to several children. And, she had a tender heart for the poor. She spent much time in prayer. Elizabeth was an example of God’s love and mercy to her people. She was so much of an example of God's love and mercy that she was declared a saint only a few years after her death.
Reflecting on the life of this woman who died 900 years ago is inspiring. Though she was a queen, her attitude was that she should serve her subjects and not be served by them. She had a spiritual director, who guided not only her prayer life but her help of the poor. Elizabeth was truly living each moment in preparation for one day meeting her Lord; she was His hands and feet to her people.
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus says that Jerusalem is not ready for Him. They are not noticing the signs that He is coming, and people are not changing who they are to be ready for Him. He says that this will lead to their downfall - and it did. Jerusalem was attacked by the Romans and destroyed only a few years later.
So today we have two examples:
(1) The people of Jerusalem knew that Jesus was coming, they were warned of Him and they met Him, but they did not prepare their hearts. Instead, they continued down their path, which ultimately lead to their destruction.
(2) St. Elizabeth of Hungary, who lived each day for the Lord. She prayed faithfully and took care of God's people, even when she was going against her family.
The question for us is, which path are you going down?
Do you know that Jesus is coming? Are you preparing your heart? Or are you ignoring Him? Are you procrastinating, putting Him off for later? Or are you waking up each day as a servant of our Lord? Are you being His hands and His feet?
St. Elizabeth of Hungary might have only lived 24 short years, but those years made a dramatic difference in the lives of those she cared for, and even for the Church today. Don't wait, start serving the Lord today just as Elizabeth did in her time.
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.
In thinking of those two examples, which path do you feel you are going down? Are you choosing your own desires, or starting to live for Him?
Have you thought about the reality that Jesus is coming, at the end of times and even in your life today? Are you preparing your heart?
What does it mean to you to truly be the Lord's hands and feet in the world? Are you taking the chance each day to do just that by serving and loving others?
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.
"Come, Lord Jesus."
"I am Your hands and feet."
"Teach me to love."
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?
St. Elizabeth of Hungary made a dramatic difference in the world by loving those around her. Find one concrete way to love someone that is out of your normal routine today and let God work through you.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.