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).
The setting was a cold winter night in sleepy St. Charles, Missouri and the subject of this story, 8-year-old me, was hungry and in desperate need of sustenance to survive. Sure, I grew up in a quiet and median-income family where there was always food on the table and assuredly would be tonight, but when we stopped at the gas station just before getting home to fill up, everything in me screamed that my insatiable hunger had to be met. Without asking my dad and without thinking (most importantly without paying), I grabbed a packet of crispy M&Ms and walked out the door back to the car…where I was instead met by a QT employee and police officer who saw the whole thing transpire. Mom and dad were not happy and neither was my hunger that sadly had to watch the M&Ms be taken from me. As silly as this is, I reflect on this story while reflecting on today’s psalm.
Brothers and sisters: blessed are all who wait for the Lord. Like the packet of M&Ms, too often we meander through life looking to grab its low-hanging fruit to quench our desire and hunger. We desperately strive for things like success in school, sports, or work, popularity among our friends, whatever new material good to seemingly fill our lives, but in the end these things are fleeting. The deep satisfaction that lasts forever is our eternity in Heaven. Waiting on the Lord requires that we acknowledge this and direct our lives accordingly.
This is the constant drama of Scripture, a reality we replay every year during Advent. The psalm recalls that “The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers.” If you recall the story of the Israelites in the Old Testament, they watched the destruction of their city of Jerusalem and temple within numerous times. They were dispersed multiple times, forced to uproot their homes and wander about in search of new abodes. The book of Daniel suggests that they waited close to 500 years in expectation for a Savior to come and rebuild Jerusalem and unite them once and for all. 500 years! But they waited, they kept the faith, they passed it down to their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, and beyond. They waited and the Lord, as He tends to do, finally came and surpassed even their greatest expectations, God Himself coming into the midst of humanity, bearing our sin, and gloriously redeeming us from it.
The way of Christianity could be summed up in one line from this psalm: “The Lord sustains the lowly.” Wait for the Lord. No earthly success or gain can compare to what the Lord has for us in eternity. The Kingdom of God is at hand and eternal life is before us. Come, then, and let us wait for the Lord and find our hunger satisfied completely by Him.
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.
Do you wait for the Lord and trust that He will completely fulfill all your desires, or do you settle for less and fill your life with material goods?
What do you need His help with today? How can you grow to depend completely on Him?
How often do you think of eternal life with God? How can you grow in hope as you wait for Him?
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 wait for You."
"I need You."
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?
Focus on God today. Pay attention to the little things you give into, instead of being steadfast and patient. When temptation to give in arises, pray to the Lord and ask for His help. During your time of prayer, ask for the Lord to give your strength and perseverance to wait for Him, specially during this advent season.
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 and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.