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).
I grew up with both of my grandparents living within walking distance of my house. We visited my mom's mother at least once a week, probably more. I slept over at her house every couple of months. My Grandma Francis also taught me a love for playing cards and all the best games! When I was a little girl, I loved it. When I was in middle school, I didn't so much. I didn't want to have to help her with her laundry or do the dishes (she didn't have a dishwasher so there were always lots of dishes to dry - which is my least favorite chore). I just wanted to be anywhere else.
Then my grandmother passed away my freshman year in high school. Then it was all over. No more card games, no more sleep overs, no more laundry, no more drying the dishes. I still really miss her, to be honest. I wish I knew more about her life before she was my grandma. I wish I had spent more time on those visits.
Today's feast and reading remind me of my grandma every year. Today's the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. After Mary found out she would be the Mother of God, she went to the hill country to be with her cousin Elizabeth. Traditionally, today's when she arrived.
Elizabeth greets Mary with the phrase most of us can utter in our sleep "Blessed are you among women, blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Recognize that?)
There's much we could say about the Blessed Mother, the fact that she was carrying Jesus in her womb, her magnificat, the fact that Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist. But let's talk about the power of visiting.
At its heart, visiting is just about spending time with other people. It's a small gesture that seems to have been put on the back burner in today's culture. We're usually too busy to just sit and visit with someone. Our grandparents get put to the aside, even our parents if we're not living with them. Even if we are, to be honest. Visiting with your parents this weekend might be dinner without your phone or the TV on. It could be going on a Sunday drive just for the fun of it, not for the purpose of actually going anywhere.
Visiting creates community, and community is what we were built for. Let's follow Mary's example and make visiting a priority in our lives.
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 was it like for Elizabeth to visit with her cousin Mary? They were both pregnant with very special little boys, little boys who would literally change the world. How does their visit impact you today?
Are there people in your life who you haven't just sat down for a visit with in a long time?
Have you sat down with Jesus for a visit lately?
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 love you Lord."
"I long for communion with you and community with others."
"Help me see your presence in others."
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?
Find someone to visit with in the next few days. Even though it's a busy time. Even though you have to study. Even though it's the beginning of summer. Even though there's just so many other things to do. Find time to visit with someone.
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 Katie Herzing, a former youth minister turned parish evanglization consultant living in North Carolina.
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.