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 more unfortunate happenings during the winter season, at least where I live, is that the sun goes down about mid-November and then refuses to come back until late March or early April. In this sad and depressing reality the humble glory of Christmas lights shines forth like a warm beacon of hope to our sully hearts and surroundings while the temperature continues to get colder and colder as if to say no matter how dark it is outside, there is still light that can shine in the darkness no? And if you’re from California or Florida, apologies if this analogy doesn’t sit as well. Enjoy your key lime pies, avocados, and mission-style burritos!
As we continue to celebrate the Christmas season and bask in the afterglow of December 25th, may the message of St. John the Evangelist in today’s first reading speak this truth in a deeper way in your life: “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Like the lights of Christmas, God Himself is the light that shines in the darkness, and indeed in Him there is no darkness at all. Inasmuch as He has called us to be His sons and daughters, so too must we be the same kind of light in the darkness, a hope for the world that God is the true light of life and in Him alone is there fullness of life.
This sounds pretty easy and even kitchsy at first, but its demands are truly radical. Why? Well, as John lays out, to be a true light requires that we acknowledge our own sins, faults, and failings before God and genuinely strive to give our hearts over to Him so that He may continually wash us clean of these sins, faults, and shortcomings.
In our current age, this is not something we particularly like to or often feel like we should do. Often we can be tempted to think that in order to be a light to the world we first have to concentrate on what we’re doing, to do the biggest, boldest, and most grandest possible things for the Lord.
Well yes! Of course we should be striving to do everything possibly to show our love for Christ, follow His will, and so be a light to others. Do not, however, forget the fundamental starting point: recognize that God is light and that at all times we are weak and in need of Him.
There is no more fitting time than this Christmas season to accept God’s loving invitation to step into His light and so to be light for others in reflection of Him. Do not be too proud to admit that you need Him. If we want to be a light, we need to walk in the light and if we take these words of St. John to heart today, then we recognize that walking in the light looks like a constant love for God and what He wants for our lives.
“Walk in the light as He is in the light.” AMDG.
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 still embracing the Christmas spirit?
Is Christmas more than just a day for you?
How are you being a light to others this week?
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 of the world."
"I want to walk in the light."
"I am rejoicing in the season."
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?
Take some time today to walk or drive around your neighborhood looking at the Christmas lights. Remind yourself about the light of Christ during this season as you see the beautiful decorations shining His glory to the world!
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, a graduate of Franciscan University currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.
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. "