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).
Today we celebrate and honor our mother Mary. We set aside a day in Advent to shout with joy about Mary and who she is and what she did for the world.
We begin our readings today with the reminder of the fall. We take time to think about how sin has affected each of us. Go back and read that first reading again. Put yourself in the place of Eve. You would also eat the fruit. You also have a tendency to sin. You also have that broken humanity.
But notice God, who knows what just happened, seeks them out. He calls to them. He knows where they are, God knows what happened. But God still reaches out. Why? Because we are important to Him, we matter. You matter. And so while Adam and Eve and all of humanity could not remain in the garden, God does not turn His back to us. Instead, He has a plan to restore us to Him. That plan begins with Mary, and that plan is what we are celebrating today.
God’s plan was for His Son to humble Himself and become man, (while also remaining 100% God), to experience every bit of humanity the joys and sorrows. And ultimately the plan was for Jesus to suffer and die. By Jesus’s death and His resurrection, we are restored in our relationship with the Father. God is seeking you out. Like He called for Adam and Eve, He is also calling for you. Jesus died for you. And He came into the world through the virgin Mary.
With her conception free from sin, she is able to bring Jesus into the world. Because she is free from sin, she is able to carry Jesus in her womb for 9 months. Through her grace, a gift from the Lord, she is able to be a mother to Jesus and thus all of humanity.
Eve was filled with fear and longing. Mary, in contrast when the angel spoke to her, was filled with grace and courage. Her response to the angel, “Let it be done to me according to your word,” is a reminder to each of us to have the courage to say yes to the Lord and restore us to 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.
When has God sought you out and called to you? God is searching for you.
What do you need to ask Mary to help you have the courage to do?
How can you try to be more like Mary and say yes to the Lord.
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 to me according to your word.”
"Full of grace."
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?
Spend time in prayer today and ask Mary to be with you. Pray with her life and how she said yes to the Lord. How can you be more like her today? Either spend time praying the mysteries of the rosary or sit with today's gospel.
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 Lisa Kendzior, Junior High Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, IL.
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