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).
Happy feast of the Epiphany! In this great feast we have the chance to continue to contemplate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and what His birth means for all of mankind. We look today towards the prophecy of the Old Testament, as well as the star which guided the Magi and the three Wise Men themselves who point us to Christ and ultimately His meaning for our lives.
The question of who these three wise men were is one that does not have a definitive answer. They were probably some sort of astronomers or scientists, probably not actually kings, but definitely learned men. These three mysterious men came from afar, all the way from the East, in order to seek the one that the star pointed them to, the one we know to be Jesus.
One tradition I recently heard about these three men is that they probably would have had some familiarity with what we now call the Old Testament through the prophet Daniel. If you remember the story of Daniel, he is taken into captivity in Babylon with his people. While there, he eventually rises to a sort of authority position due to his ability to interpret dreams, words, and visions given to the people from God. Because of his role at the time, it is not unreasonable to think that he would have had the chance to teach the wise people there the Jewish Scriptures. These three wise men, then, could have learned in that tradition, being aware of the words of the prophets and the stories of Abraham and Moses that the Jewish people know so well.
Why would this be important to helping us understand the Epiphany?
In the reading today from Isaiah, we hear the great prophecy speaking already of Jesus, the Messiah, the One who would come and bring light to the whole world. In Isaiah, the prophecy speaks of the one to whom people from all over the world will come, bringing gifts and coming to worship. This One, of course, we know to be Jesus. The Magi, the three wise men who come on this great feast of the Epiphany, may very well have known the prophets. In knowing the prophets, they may have known the truth of who this star was pointing to, namely that in this One Man they and all of the world would know salvation.
When the Magi come, they bring gifts and fall down to worship the King who brings all people back into relationship with God. The great gift of the feast of the Epiphany is the realization that the Savior Jesus Christ did not come simply for one type of people or simply for the Jews. This Savior is not a Savior of a limited scope; no, this Savior is the One who will bring the light, the favor, the relationship with God back to all people everywhere.
And so on this day, together with the Magi who wandered not aimlessly but in hopes of finding the light who came to shatter darkness, we to walk to our Lord and fall down and worship. With these wise men, we seek Jesus in our hearts, knowing that to find Him is to find our hope, to find our salvation, and to find everything for which we truly long.
“Though many kings of the Jews had been born and died, none of them did the Magi seek to adore. And so they who came from a distant foreign land to a kingdom that was entirely strange to them…But they had learnt that such a King was born that by adoring Him they might be sure of obtaining from Him the salvation which is of God.” – Saint Augustine
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.
If, like the Magi, you have the chance to meet Jesus today - and you do - what would you bring to Him, and for what would you ask? What part of your heart and your life is the Savior who we celebrate asking for today?
How can you make this year all about seeking the face of the Lord and relentlessly trying to find Him and to worship Him?
In your life, how can you do a better job of being attentive to the various lights the Lord gives to draw you to the One True Light, Him? What ways does He speak to you, and how can you hear Him more effectively?
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.
"You are the Light."
"You are my salvation."
"My hope is 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?
Today take time to look at your year ahead and make a plan for how you will allow the Light of Christ to more deeply penetrate every part of your day to day 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 Jason Theobald.