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).
Whenever an angel appears to someone, they usually lead with "Do not be afraid." Makes me smile a little because if an angel appeared to me, I'd probably be pretty freaked out! To think that our Blessed Mother and many others had a similar reaction makes me feel better. An angel appearing usually meant something intense was about to happen. If an angel appears to you, you bet there is a pretty good reason and that the Lord is about to work something in your life. That's why it says she was greatly troubled. She knows that the angel is about to drop something pretty epic into her life.
Another thing that makes me connect to our Blessed Mother is that when the angel appears to her and tells her that she will conceive a baby and He shall be king, she doesn't immediately say "okay!" She asks a pretty obvious question - how is that possible? I wonder how long in between the end of the angels words until this question. Must have come as quite a shock, a lot to digest. Mary probably wondered how God was going to work in her life, but I bet she didn't think it would be in this way! It didn't make sense to her. It reminds us of what the angel says at the end of the Gospel, "for nothing is impossible with God." God works through the Spirit in ways that go beyond what we could imagine or even understand. We should not let our own ideas limit what God wants to do in our lives. God can do impossible things. Our yes's to the Lord may not be as big as Mary accepting the role as mother of Jesus Christ, but they are important nonetheless.
Last spring, I found out that I was pregnant with twins. My husband and I struggled for many years trying to have a family. So to find out that not only was I pregnant but I was pregnant with TWO BABIES? How is this possible Lord? How is this going to play out in my life? All the questions and concerns wanted to flood into my heart. But like Mary, I knew that the best way to embark on this journey was to simply say, "Yes, Lord!" Let whatever is going to happen here happen the way you would like. There are times in our lives where we wonder what God is doing and how it would possibly work. We are not alone. Mary felt it. Joseph felt it. So many others in the Bible have heard the call of the Lord and wondered. But Jesus was near to them and He will be near to us.
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 Jesus asked you to say yes? How did you respond?
Where do you need to give Jesus a resounding yes in your life now?
What impossible thing are you asking God 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.
"Be not afraid."
"Nothing is impossible with God."
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?
Be bold. Write a list of things you are asking God for. Then write a list of things God is asking for from you. Take them to prayer.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.
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