We begin our prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Incline a merciful ear to our cry, we pray, O Lord, and, casting light on the darkness of our hearts, visit us with the grace of your Son. Who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Collect, Monday of the Third Week of Advent)
Read the following Scripture two or three times.
John 1:6-8, 19-28
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’” as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
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?
He came for testimony … so that all might believe through him. How does my life give witness to what I believe? How does my witness encourage or discourage others from encountering Jesus?
Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? How would you describe the way you live your faith? How would others describe it?
The voice of one crying out in the desert. What deserts in my life are thirsting for the grace of God? In what deserts am I called to speak God’s word of mercy and love?
After a period of silent reflection and/or discussion, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.
Living the Word This Week
How can I make my life a gift for others in charity?
Share your faith with someone, by word or action. Say grace while eating at a restaurant. Read your Bible or pray on the bus during your commute. Invite someone to Mass. Do an act of charity. Write to a political leader about a moral issue.
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.