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).
During this time of year the Church seems to be out of sync with the rest of culture.
Just at the time of year when Macy's is playing Christmas music, streets are decorated with wreaths, and Starbucks has holiday cups...just at that time of year when people seem to be a little bit kinder to one another...that time of year when Peace and Joy and Hope seem to be the hallmarks of the holidays...just at that time of year, the Church has all these daily readings about the Final Days. Like, the final. Final Days.
It's not because the Church doesn't get it. It's not because the Church likes to be some nay-saying, judgy, Church lady. It's because the Church - in her 2,000 years of Wisdom - knows that there's a time for peace and love and joy and hope and Starbucks. That'll be reflected in our daily readings in a few weeks. But, for right now, She reminds us that Jesus really will come again.
There really will be a judgment. We really will have to make an accounting. Did I do good or did I let good go undone? Did I look out for others or did I look out for me?
When it's all said and done, am I ready to stand before the Face of Jesus?
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 the midst of this holiday season, having just had Thanksgiving and now preparing for Christmas, what are the main things you are focused on right now? What is taking up most of your energy?
When you hear these readings and are reminded of the final days, what sort of images does that bring up? What are you reminded of when you think of God in this way?
When it's all said and done, do you feel like you'll be ready to stand before the Face of Jesus? What can you do today and during the next few days to live in a way that prepares you for that moment?
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.
"The Kingdom of God is near."
"I long to see Your Face."
"Help me choose You today."
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?
Today's reading reminds us that the Kingdom of God is near - take some time today to do something that would allow you to truly be ready if the Second Coming, the real end, were to be coming. We have no idea when that will happen, but do something today to help make sure your mind and heart are ready if He does come sooner than we might think.
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 Fr. Jon Bakkelund, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.