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).
One of the proudest moments of my life was being asked by my sister to be my nephew, George’s godfather. As my wife and I held this precious little child and watched the water rush over his head, we were both filled with awe and wonder. In a way I had never quite experienced before, I felt a tangible presence of the reality of baptism. George was being both sealed in God’s love and into the Christian community.
The incredible reality of our Catholic faith is that that moment is the same reality present at every baptism. Today we celebrate the feast of the greatest baptism, the one that opens up baptism to us: the Baptism of the Lord. What a glorious celebration this baptism is. Many of you may have been too young to remember your own baptism. If you were baptized older or have been to a baptism yourself, however, I think you can join me in acknowledging how great of a celebration it is. In that moment, we celebrate both a joining of an individual to the Church and their identity as a son and daughter of God, ready to do His will and live in His love. There is a community of people gathered to welcome this individual in and show their support. A lot of baptisms follow with some sort of party or ceremony commemorating what has just occurred.
The cause for our joy and celebration is contained in those words we hear today in the Gospel: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” I hope that wherever you are reading this right now those words can penetrate your heart to its deepest core. When Jesus is baptized, a great reality is made available to us: Jesus allows us to receive a baptism like His. We too can become initiated into the communion of the Trinity and of the Church, fully as sons and daughters of God. What happened at Christ’s baptism happened to you at yours: the heavens tore open, the Holy Spirit came upon you, and God the Father looked upon you and welcomed you, the image of His Son, and said to you, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
The Baptism of the Lord allows us to recall our own baptism, that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters and that in us He is well pleased. In baptism, God calls us to Himself and seals us in this great fact: you are His beloved son or daughter; with you He is well pleased.
Allow yourself to be His son. Allow yourself to be His daughter. Pray for the grace today to live out your baptism and identity as a child of God. Remember what our Lord confirms, that it is first and foremost about who you are, not just what you do. Through your baptism, you are His; and what a joyous identity, life, and journey He invites us into.
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.
Are you living out your identity as a son or daughter of God? Do you act with the confidence of knowing that the Father is pleased with you?
How can you live in greater unity with the Holy Trinity and the Church through the grace of your baptism today and everyday?
Are you ready to do God's will and live in His love? Is there anything that holds you back from living out this baptismal calling? How can you strive to overcome these obstacles with the help of God's grace?
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.
"I am Yours."
"I need Your grace."
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?
Live today with confidence of knowing God is well pleased with you. You are wanted, loved, treasured, and redeemed. Pray with today's Gospel and let your heart truly grasp that you are a beloved son or daughter of the Father.
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 Matthew Maxwell.