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).
As I prayed through today’s Gospel reading, I was struck today by the reaction of Elizabeth’s neighbors to how the Lord had blessed her. St. Luke tells us that when Elizabeth’s “neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her...they rejoiced with her.” They rejoiced with Elizabeth because of her good fortune. This reaction of rejoicing with those we love may seem like an obvious response, but as I look at the world around me (and, if I’m being honest, at my own heart) I see a division - sometimes rooted in comparison, other times in hardness of heart - that prevents us from rejoicing with those we love when they experience blessing.
All too often, when those I love have cause for joy, I find myself responding with comparison. “Why did the Lord decide to bless them in that way?” I ask, “Why not me?” These knee-jerk reactions, rooted in our desire to be chosen ourselves, can serve to prevent us from encountering God in new and powerful ways; not just in our own lives, but in the lives of those around us.
If the Lord shows up for a friend in a moment when they least expected it, He might be trying to teach me more about his faithfulness. If he provides the perfect college for a friend, while I have yet to hear back from my first choice, he could be trying to teach me how he knows the desires of my heart, even better than I do. Or if he offers healing for a friend, in an area I still find myself to be deeply broken in, he may be trying to teach me how to hope. The Lord wants to use every situation to draw us more deeply into his love. But comparison and hardness of heart can prevent us from seeing the movements of the Lord clearly.
Let us pray today for the grace to be open to the ways in which the Lord desires to teach us more and more about his love.
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.
When was the last time I rejoiced with someone over their good news?
Do I tend to compare myself to others when I witness them experiencing joy?
What lessons has the Lord taught me through those around me?
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.
"Rejoice with one another."
"Lord, help me to be humble."
"I am chosen, and I am loved."
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?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.