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).
Sometimes its really hard to stay awake. Sleep is pretty awesome, let's be honest. But there is a time to sleep and a time to be awake. I definitely struggled with that concept when I was in college, but now that I am an adult... well, I still sometimes struggle with it. Comfort and relaxation are not bad things, but they seem to become more important than anything else, especially on Saturday or Sunday morning. And honestly, that why today's Gospel is so relatable, because sleep is one of the most relatable topics ever!
Spiritual sleep is less about rest and more about laziness. When Jesus talks about being awake or prepared, He means that we cannot get spiritual lazy; that we cannot hit that spiritual snooze button for the third - or thirteenth time. It doesn't mean we need to be praying a rosary every hour of every day until the Second Coming, but it does mean that you are never pushing off your relationship with God until "tomorrow." It means that you are actively engaged in your faith, praying, receiving the Sacraments, and living for the one who died for you.
This is not just a call for Advent, this is a call for our every day life. Often times we wait for a huge event to give our spiritual life a boost, but today God is telling us not to wait for that. You never know when that next "huge event" is too late. That's a thought that none of us really want to think of, but it is reality. That's why we must live every moment to its fullest, not fearing if we are ready, but having the freedom knowing that we are already awake and prepared. Take today as that day to final wake up from your spiritual sleep, to stop hitting snooze, and to enjoy this great gift of life God has given us.
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.
Do you feel like you keep hitting snooze on your spiritual alarm clock? How can you make sure you wake up spiritually instead of hitting snooze again?
What are some concrete ways you can prevent yourself from falling asleep spiritually or becoming spiritually lazy?
How can you change your mentality from doing things out of fear and restriction, to living your faith as a gift and with freedom?
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.
"Here I am Lord."
"Jesus, I trust in You."
"Come, Holy 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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Start this Advent out right. Get excited for Jesus to enter your life in a new way. Enjoy the gifts of this earth, but prepare your heart for heaven. The first step in that is often confession, so try to get to confession this week.
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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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