We begin our prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God, as we await the advent of Christ your Son, so that, when he comes and knocks, he may find us watchful in prayer and exultant in his praise. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Collect, Monday of the First Week of Advent)
Read the following Scripture two or three times.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What in this passage comforted you?
- What in this passage challenged you?
If practicing lectio divina as a family or in a group, after the reflection time, invite the participants to share their responses.
Read the Scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.
Read the Scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:
What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?
“Be watchful! Be alert!” What things capture my attention? What things distract me from God’s plan?
“You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming.” Does the way I spend my time reflect my priorities? How can I make sure that I spend my time on the things that matter most (prayer, family, service to others)?
“May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.” To what sins and injustices do I close my eyes? What parts of my faith keep me awake and energized to do God’s will?
After a period of silent reflection and/or discussion, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power, and come to save us.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
(Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19)
Living the Word This Week
How can I make my life a gift for others in charity?
Each night before falling asleep, look over your day to identify God’s presence in your day and opportunities you had to reach out in love. Make a form commitment to become more alert to the needs around you and to God working in your life.
Copyright © 2017, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Excerpts from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.