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).
Sometimes it's hard to prayerfully read a passage from Scripture that you've heard many times before, as can be the case with today's Gospel. However, today's reading is really relevant to our season of Advent and gives us a clear example to follow through this time of preparation for the coming of Jesus.
Many people know this story by heart: an angle comes and announces the good news of the coming of the Son of God and the Virgin Mary cooperates perfectly with God's will. Look at the passage again and really pray through it in this context of where you are in Advent. The angel Gabriel announces to Mary the coming of the Son of God. This has been proclaimed to us too, and we know the Messiah has come and will come again. He has established the Kingdom of God on earth, through and in the Church, yet it will not be fully on earth until Jesus comes a second time. We are also in a time of anticipation for the coming of Jesus, just like Mary.
Now put yourself in the place of Mary. Though her role is completely unique, it is also really relatable. YOU are filled with grace. YOU have found favor with God. You will not physically bear the Son of God, but you can bear Christ in the sense of sharing His love and the gifts He has given to you to those around you. Bear Christ to others through your words, thoughts, actions, and prayers. The Son of the Most High, Jesus Christ is with YOU, and nothing is impossible for God.
So how will you respond? Like Mary? Will you allow yourself to be a servant of God? Will you let Him work through and in you to spread the message of love and salvation to all? God loves you and every person He has created. As you go forth in Advent, walk with Mary as you journey to Christmas. See how your situation is similar to hers and ask for her intercession to bring you closer to her Son. Jesus Christ has come and will come again; continue to prepare your heart for His coming.
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.
How does this Gospel relate to your relationship with God? In what ways are you similar to the Virgin Mary?
How will you personally respond to God's invitation to bring the Good News of the Gospel into the word, especially during this Advent season?
How can Mary help you on your journey of faith? What do you need special intercessions for?
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.
"Let it be done according to your will."
"I am a servant of God."
"You are the Most High."
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?
Boldly walk with Mary in these last few days until Christmas. Ask for her help and follow her example. Find ways to live out her words, "behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word" in your daily activities.
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 Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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.