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).
It is that time of year where everyone is posting their New Year's Resolutions. Stores and commercials are all focused on fitness goals, organization improvements and healthy eating. Everyone is frantically trying to figure out what this new year is going to be like and how it is going to be different than last year. There are many questions that run through our minds around New Years. For example, Who am I? Who do I want to be this year? What am I going to do to get there? Now, we all know that buying a set of weights or a bag of kale is not going to change you. The set of weights will get dusty if not used, and that bag of kale may rot in the back of your fridge (sorry kale).
Today's first reading reminds us of who we are and invites us to participate in that reality right now! On this day, in 2018, He is speaking to us through the scriptures. He says that we are His children! We are His beloved. We are loved so deeply by the Father of All. Loved so much that He has bestowed on us the beautiful privilege of being His sons and daughters.
We can strive to be many things in this world. Many of those things are, in fact, good things. But at the very center of who we are-we must know and believe that we are God's children.
Because of this amazing reality, we know what this year should look like. We are children of a loving God. We have hope in Him. Because of this love and this hope, we do not desire sin. When we love God, we want to turn to Him and turn away from sin. The fact that God loves us as a Father brings us to a deeper realization that what we do matters to Him.
We can walk boldly into this new year. We are God's children. We are called to do great things. We are called to have hope. We are called to take this life and live it to the full.
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.
Did you make any New Year's resolutions? If so, were any of them focused on or directed to God? What can you resolve to do this year to grow in your relationship with our loving God?
What do you want your spiritual life to look like this year? Will you have hope and strive for greatness? Will you live life to the full?
How will you be bold this year? What do you need to do to resist sin and turn to your loving Father today, and every day this year?
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.
"Father, heal me."
"I want to be pure."
"I hope in You."
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?
Make a resolution to turn to your Heavenly Father in trust in love. Make concrete decisions to turn from sin and begin to live totally for God so that you can live life to the fullest and do great things.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL. If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.