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).
At first thought, when I think of someone who is “rebellious,” I certainly would not put myself in that category (I consider myself a bit of a goody two shoes…). And yet, when I push aside my pride and take a good, humble look in the mirror, I realize that I too have rebelled against God and in more ways than one. In these moments, it is easy for me to get caught up in shame, and even after years of going to Confession, I still worry that I’m going to receive the harshest penance that has ever been given.
But the Lord does not want us to live from a place of fear and shame. In Advent, we anticipate both Christ’s first coming on Christmas and also when He will come again at the second coming. There can be a lot of fear around the second coming. Yes, there will be the final judgment, which can sound scary, but there will also be triumph and victory on that day.
The humble are the ones who thrive in the Kingdom of God. God does not only see all the bad things we do, all our mistakes and failures. He sees every little good deed we do and every victory, big and small, that we have over temptation and sin. I don’t think God does not want us to live in shame and fear of when He comes again. He calls us to prepare for that day -- the season of Advent reminds us of that -- but He also wants us to look forward to that day with joyful anticipation, the same joyful anticipation with which we look forward to His coming at Christmas.
There are still 10 days left until Christmas. I hope during this time you can receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, if you have not already had the chance to this season, and rid yourself of any fear or shame and embrace the joyful mercy with which the Lord wishes to welcome all of us home this season.
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.
Where have I been living from a place of fear and shame?
Do I await the Lord's coming with joy or with fear?
How can I embrace the virtue of humility more in my life?
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.
"Take refuge in the Lord."
"Humble me, Lord."
"Deliver me, Lord."
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?
Consider where you have acted pridefully versus where you have acted humbly. Ask the Lord to help you better embrace the virtue of humility in all that you say and do.
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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 Maggie Super.