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).
To be completely honest, when I first ready today’s Gospel reading, it was a bit shocking. I mean just yesterday we were celebrating the birth of our Lord and now all of a sudden some people are handing over their brothers to be put to death while others are being scourged before the courts. I’m not quite sure the phrase “well that escalated quickly” has ever been more relevant.
At least that’s how it seems at first glance.
But I think that if we take a moment to dive into the truth of who God has called us to be as followers of Christ, yesterday and today’s readings might not seem so at odds. I mean what’s the best part of Christmas if not the fact that it’s when we celebrate the greatest gift of all time: Jesus Christ. On Christmas we as a Church commemorate the reality that God became man so that we might forever be united to our Heavenly Father who is insanely in love with us. When Christ is born each of us is given the gift of eternal happiness spent with a God who loves us, not too shabby if you ask me.
But that’s not all. Not only does God offer us this fantastic gift, he also invites us to share it with others, which makes complete sense. Just a couple of years ago, my grandparents gave my brother Just Dance (the video game in which you attempt to dance like the people on the screen but actually end up looking like a ridiculous flailing fool) for Christmas. He was super pumped about it and immediately demanded that everyone in the family play it with him; which resulted in a large number of wildly embarrassing family home videos, but that’s beside the point. To put it simply, my brother got an awesome gift and then wanted to show it and experience with the people around him.
This is what the Lord asks each of us to do. We have been given a ridiculously awesome gift in Christ Jesus and now we’re called to share Him. What we see in today’s Gospel reading is Christ’s warning about what can sometimes result when we seek to share the gift of God’s love with others. And while it certainly may not seem all that pleasant, it’s definitely worth it. If I had a violent hatred for the game Just Dance, if I had rejected my brother when he asked me to play it with, called him names and thrown things at him, it wouldn’t have stopped him from dancing and it certainly wouldn’t have stopped him from inviting the rest of the family to dance with him because, no matter what I said to him, he really loved to dance.
Now as trivial as that example might be, I think the same idea applies to our sharing the Gospel message. If we truly seek to love the Lord and to invite others into that love, then any conflict that comes as a result is not half as important as the joy that we experience when we share the love of God with others.
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 of your favorite gift that you received yesterday. How will you share that gift with others and use it to bring joy into someone else's life?
Today is the second day of the Christmas season. How will you continue to share the message of Christmas with those around you?
How can you continue to find joy in the Christmas season even now that all of the presents are unwrapped?
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.
"Joy to the world!"
"The joy of the Lord is my strength."
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
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 that favorite gift you received yesterday and share it with someone else to bring joy into their life.
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 Lauren Wright, an Adore Missionary and Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.