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
Today is the Feast of the Holy Family, one of my favorites. We are all part of a family. Some of our families are amazing, some not-so-much all the time. We are all called to imitate the Holy Family though, no matter what our family is like. When reflecting on the Holy Family I am reminded of something Mark Hart talks about a lot. He talks about how hard it was for Joseph with his son being divine and his wife being perfect. Mary may have burned the bread sometimes, but she was sinless. So if something went wrong, who was to blame? Not God, not the sinless virgin, but probably Joseph, the only one capable of sin (although Joseph was very holy - the saints have said he's one of the greatest Saints in Heaven).
That's just a humorous look back on the Holy family as we reflect on ours. All of the members of our families are sinners, although sometimes they are reticent to admit it - I know I am. We are still called to imitate the Holy Family in our thoughts, words, and actions.
Today's first reading from Sirach reminds us of this and also gives us a promise. The 4th commandment "Honor thy mother and father" is the only one with a promise to be delivered here on Earth. The writer of Sirach says "kindness to a father [& mother] will not be forgotten." The writer also tell us twice that if we honor our father "our prayers will be heard." We also atone for our sins and will be gladdened by children.
We were given our families for a purpose, the purpose of making us holy. Reflect today on how you have been honoring your mother and father, and any siblings you have. Are you working toward making your family holy?
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.
How is my family making me holy?
How can I better model the Holy Family?
How can I help make my family holy?
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.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us."
"Honor my father and mother."
"Help me be like the Holy Family."
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, what is something you can do for your family? Can you do the dishes without complaining? Shovel the driveway? Drive your siblings somewhere? Do something for your family, and then tonight say a prayer for each member of your family.
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 Katie Herzing.