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).
Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of the Lord. We prepare for the baby Jesus, we prepare for the second coming at the end of days and we prepare for Jesus to come into our hearts every day.
Jesus calls out the crowds today for their fickle hearts, they let their hearts flip flop on a whim. They saw John and they judged him because he wasn’t what they expected in a prophet. They saw Jesus and they judged Him because He wasn’t what they expected in a Savior. Oftentimes, even those who speak of their trust in Jesus have a fickle heart. We say, "Jesus I trust you", but we trust Him to do our will. We say, "I hope in you Lord", but we hope that He will do our will in a timely fashion.
The crowd who gathered for John and Jesus probably desired to find a righteous prophet and a Messiah. The crowd had an idea of what to expect in both of these roles but John and Jesus broke the mold. They had a wider view and much bigger plans for the crowd, and that is hard to accept.
In our own lives, we have a good idea of how we desire God to work. We want our families to be comfortable. We never want to feel alone. We want to have control over every aspect of our lives, but Jesus comes to us in a way only He can. He can provide for our families, and that may mean facing challenges to become closer to one another. He is with us always and can use loneliness to call us to His heart. God wants us to surrender our control, that He may make us perfect in ways we are too weak to do ourselves.
A beautiful example of living this virtue of trust and hope this advent season is to speak like our Lady: “Let it be done to me according to your Will.” She didn’t know the specifics of God’s plan. She agreed to be the Mother of His Son, but didn’t know exactly how that was to come about. She needed to trust. When Jesus was lost in the temple, she was initially worried, but in her heart of hearts, she knows who Jesus is, she knew the Father and she trusted and had hope in her Son’s return. When the crowd followed Jesus it would’ve been easy to trust Him, but when the crowd turned on Him and sentenced Him to be crucified, Mary needed to choose to trust in His plan.
Mary did Advent right. With her help and the love of the Lord we can be healed of our fickle hearts that we may proclaim true trust, true hope in Jesus Christ, in His ways and in His time.
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 trust Jesus? Do you trust Him with everything? Or only with little pieces of your life?
Do you find hope in Jesus? Or do you let yourself be weighed down by the weight of the world?
Do you truly want God's will for your life? Or do you want your will?
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.
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"I hope in you Lord."
“Let it be done to me according to your Will.”
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Work on trusting God more fully today. What is one thing you are holding on to and not letting God in? Write it down and put it somewhere safe (like in your Bible or journal). Give it up to God and put your trust in Him. Pray with it in a week, month or more and see what God has done in your life since that moment.
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 Robert Blood, seminarian of the Diocese of Rockford.