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).
In today's readings, the theme is clear: Christ is victorious. Whether it is against possession, sin, death, or anything else, Christ will always be victorious.
In the First Reading, we encounter Adam and Eve, along with the serpent, immediately after the fall into sin, bringing sin and death into the world. In this reading, we are hearing the aftermath: Adam and Eve are hiding, and then God is giving punishments to the three of them due to this action. It is even in the midst of this very punishment, though, that we begin to hear the Good News from God; it is in Genesis 3:15 that we hear what is called the Protoevangelium, the First Gospel, where God proclaims that in response to what happened there in the garden He will send one Man, through whom He will put enmity between mankind and Satan.
It is specifically in this context, then, that we enter into Mark's Gospel today. Each Gospel has a specific theme, and usually the first story in the Gospel helps us know what that will be. Matthew begins Jesus' ministry with a focus on teaching; John begins with a wedding, leading into a lot of marital imagery that He will give throughout his Gospel. In Mark, we dive right into exorcisms and possessions. Why does he do this? Because he wants to remind us that Jesus came to fulfill the victory promised by God way back in the garden. Jesus came to pick a fight, and He did this because His mission is to defeat sin and death once and for all because although we can do nothing about the punishment due because of our sin, He can.
Today, as we read this Gospel, we hear a clear message from Jesus: no matter what happens, no matter the issue, no matter the sin, He is bigger than our mess, than our brokenness, than our pain; He is big enough to conquer it all, and in the face of it all, He will be victorious. How do we do this? We listen to His words at the end of the passage: whoever does the will of God becomes HIs mother, His brother, His sister. It is in hearing His words, and then in doing them, that we become who we were created to be, and we claim the victory of Christ in our lives.
On this Sunday, as we celebrate the Resurrection that we remember on the first day of each week, let's allow Christ to encounter us in a new way, follow His will, and let His victory take root in our life.
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.
In what ways are you looking for the victory of Christ in your life today? What parts of your life would you like to invite Him in to?
What are parts of your life where sin or the mess of life has gotten in the way of your relationship with Christ? How can you re-focus on Him?
If discipleship means to hear the Words of God and do His will, all in our personal relationship with Him, how can you learn more and more to be a disciple of Him, hearing Him and doing as He says?
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.
"I will follow You."
"You are victorious."
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?
This week in your prayer journal (if this isn't something you normally do, give it a chance) write down ways at the end of each day that you saw God's victory in your life, in little or big ways. Use this as a way to look back and see how He is real and how present He is in your life.
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 Jason Theobald, Executive Director of Carpe Verbum.
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.