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).
Have you ever heard of St. Anna the Prophetess?
If you’re like me, when you think of the Presentation in the Temple, you’re more likely to think of Simeon with the Holy Family. Simeon is the one who, just verses before this passage in the Gospel of Luke, took Jesus into his arms and blessed God saying, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word…” and then said to Mary, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel… and you yourself a sword will pierce…”
Anna was right there when that happened too! She undoubtedly had a very close relationship with God as she had been coming to the temple every day for a very long time to fast and pray. We don’t get to know much more about Anna or the exact words that she said, but I find her story so beautiful and inspiring. More so, I am once again in awe of God’s plan and timing. God chose to use Anna to tell others about Jesus at a very significant point in the redemption story, and Anna responded with a faithful “yes”.
I don’t know what it’s like to be alive for 84 years, but I would think praying and fasting with such passion every single day for that long of a time takes a lot of patience and perseverance. I can also only imagine the struggles she faced as a widow after only 7 years of marriage. Not only was there potential for loneliness and depression after such a loss, but it likely would have also been extremely difficult to find work and support herself enough to stay out of poverty. At that point it history, it was most common for widows to remarry, but she did not. We know so little about her, but it is clear to see that she was a faithful and hopeful woman of God.
Fast-forward 2000-some years. Although we’re at a different point in history, a different part of the story, God is still choosing people to bring his beautiful plan to fruition. The end-goal is Heaven for every single person on this earth. From Anna’s example, we are reminded to always persevere in prayer and hope, no matter the struggles we face or how long it takes. The lives and stories of each of the saints are all so wonderfully different; your story is still in the making, so your do your part to make it a good one and God will take care of the rest.
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 about the life of St. Anna the prophetess. What can you learn about her story? How can you be more like her?
What is your story? How has God been writing it?
Do you trust God to play an active part in your story? What role in your life are you giving Him?
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.
"What is my story God?"
"St. Anna, pray for us."
"Jesus, I trust 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?
Your story is in the making. Journal your story today. Look back and see where the Lord has been present throughout your life and invite Him into the places of your heart that hold where you want your story to go.
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 Katie LoBosco, a music therapist for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Cincinnati.
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