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).
Ah Christmas Eve, and as they say, there’s no place like home for the holidays. What’s always made Christmas special to me is my home: whether it’s hanging out with family or enjoying some rest and lounging around the house during Christmas break, home is well…home. It’s security, comfort, the place where I can fully be myself and grow with my family, warts and all.
As Christmas pulls around the corner tonight, I’d invite you to let these words from today’s first reading put you in a mindset for something very special God invites us to ponder this season: “The Lord also reveals to you that He will establish a house for you.” The whole first reading is a simple little account from 2 Samuel: fresh off the heels of the victory of battle and enjoying some rest, King David recognizes that it’s God who deserves the glory for all of the success of Israel. Yet, instead of dwelling in a glorious temple, His house is a tent, somewhat barren, nonchalant, and exposed to the elements, not at all a fit dwelling for the King of Kings. It is under this context the Lord proclaims to Nathan that He will establish a house for Himself, but most importantly He’s not establishing it for His sake, but for ours; He will establish a house for you!
The great significance of the coming of Christ at Christmas is that He is accomplishing this great goal of establishing His house, His Kingdom: our house and our kingdom in, with, and through Him! Like any great home, all Christ wants is to be with us and for us to be with Him, to experience the glory of unity with Him in Heaven on earth right now. And so the Lord comes to us and gives us the house of His Church. What a gift!
But, it doesn’t just stop there. More profoundly, the house that He wants to establish is not just for you, but within you. As we receive the Body of Christ as the Body of Christ, we receive a community, a security, a comfort, a peace, a true home, that this world cannot touch or match, cannot conquer or satisfy. We encounter the true happiness that can only come from the One who has definitively promised to bring us happiness.
This Jesus who came at Christmas, who will come again when this world ends, He comes to you right now and invites you to accept, without reservation, excuse, or hesitation, these great words, no matter the obstacle, trial, or struggle: “I will establish a house for you.” Sure, our earthly homes can be great and a source of joy, but they cannot even come close to the home that your Heavenly Father has prepared for you, Jesus brought us to, and that the Holy Spirit makes manifest now.
His house is forever, His Kingdom forever, His glory forever. Today as we look with great anticipation to Christ’s coming at Christmas, accept the invitation, rest once again in His house, and so experience the true peace, joy, and happiness that only He can bring you. 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.
How is God inviting me home right now?
In what ways has God created a home for me in his Body, the Church?
How can I still prepare my heart to receive Christ this Christmas, now on the Eve of his coming?
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.
"Come, Lord Jesus."
"Thank you for bringing me home."
"Make your home in me."
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 time to center yourself in prayer on this final day of Advent. It's not too late to prepare your heart to celebrate Christ's coming at Christmas, but also for his eventual second coming- we don't know the hour or the day it will happen. Prepare your heart to experience the home God has prepared for you this Christmas!
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.