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).
He will be gracious to you when you cry out,
as soon as he hears he will answer you.
The Lord will give you the bread you need
and the water for which you thirst.
Today’s readings remind us to trust that the Lord will provide for us in every situation, will take care of us each day, and will guide our path.
When we reflect on the Lord’s Prayer, the perfect prayer that Jesus gave us, we ask for strength for the day: “give us this day our daily bread.” We don’t ask for the bread for tomorrow - or the bread three weeks from now. But, we ask for the bread for today—the nourishment that we need and the water which we thirst for right now. A good father feeds and cares for his children each day. The Lord promises to do this for us.
Jesus also promises to give us the answers that we need in the moment that we need them. We need to follow where he leads us, and learn to live patiently in the present.
It is said that Mother Teresa once saw one of her sisters downtrodden because she didn’t know what Jesus wanted of her. Mother Teresa told her, “What did Jesus say—to carry the cross in front of Him or to follow Him? Why are you trying to go ahead of Him?”
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:
“This is the way; walk in it,”
when you would turn to the right or to the left.
I personally am an over-thinker. My anxiety about decisions I’ll need to make tomorrow or scenarios unrealized often takes away my peace from today. But, here, the Lord is telling us that He will tell us the way to stay on the path. He doesn’t promise us a roadmap of our journey, one where we can see and then anticipate every twist and turn. Instead, He promises that He will gently whisper in our ear as we slowly progress on our voyage. We will know the path to take when we finally arrive at the fork in the road.
And, if we still don’t know, we must use our hearts and our intellects to make a decision, knowing that in His goodness He will intervene if we get far off track. This Advent, may we intentionally increase our trust in this promise and choose to listen to His gentle whispers.
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.
What are the worries or anxieties that get in the way of you receiving what the Lord has for you TODAY?
How can you make sure that you follow the Lord instead of trying to get ahead of Him? What are some practical ways to know when you stop following and start getting too far ahead?
What does Advent mean to you? How can this time of preparing help you follow Him better?
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 follow me."
"Have no anxiety at all."
"O, Come Emmanuel."
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Try and let go of your anxiety about tomorrow and the future. Yes, we have responsibilities, but the Lord also calls us to live in the present. Take some time to thank God for today and let the worries of tomorrow come tomorrow.
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 Andrea Scott, a graduate of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio currently living in Washington D.C.