Gospel: Luke 1:67-79
"Zechariah His Father, filled with the Holy Spirit prophesied, saying" "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior born of the house of his servant David. Through the prophets he promised of old, that he would save us from our enemies from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham; to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace"
Lectio: Read the gospel slowly several times out loud and listen in your heart. Don't try too hard, just rest with the Word- Come close to Jesus. In the passage there might be many things that rise and make you ponder and sometimes there will be just one word even. What is it? Stay with it.
Meditatio: Now ponder these words. (Example: The words that caught my heart last night (in the passage) and still hold me this morning are: "The dawn from on high shall break upon us...to guide our feet into the way of peace". This "way of peace" caught me. So I asked - What is the "way of peace"?
It is the way, the "path" of the Will of God, it IS God. Over the years, interior Peace has always been important to me but it has grown to become a "state of being" I hold in regard above all else. Peace "equates" to possession of Jesus Christ. Peace is the gauge of being; "in the way" or "not in the way of the Lord"- the measuring stick of oneness with Christ, abiding in union with Him. Not the fake peace that is "created" or "achieved" by attempting to control situations and having things all go one's way, or according to one's liking and choosing, but rather that profound interior peace of abiding in Him, in His Will, in the midst of everything that's happening, either of one's choosing, or opposed to one's choosing- it is in choosing to remain with Him, where He wills...then He is found. Years back, when I was a young sister, serving in San Francisco, I was living in a convent with only 2 windows, sandwiched between Victorian homes in a noisy part of the inner city, with no natural beauty around me, nor a place to enjoy a moment of solitude. Added to that, I was homesick (hadn't been home in 5 years). Naturally speaking, San Francisco was the place I least wanted to be and I was living in a place least "suited" to me (being raised in the beautiful countryside of Wisconsin). I had just professed first vows and was yearning to go (as a missionary) to a third world country to spread the good news and evangelize! And here I was, a 29 year old, (prime of life) assigned only 9 blocks away from the Novitiate, in my own country, in a convent working with my own people, in the inner city with my main jobs of making soup, changing soiled beds and mopping floors, rarely seeing the outside, with only a view being buildings and the only audible sounds that of traffic, loud music and raised voices. On the natural level, every part of this equation, added up to utter disappointment, discouragement and the feeling of my "wings being clipped". Peace didn't come right away, it only came after honest dialogue with Jesus and a flood of tears and at last...willingness to open my heart to a greater plan, God's Plan! Then came grace! The grace to choose "to be", where the Lord wanted me to be, where He had me, and that is exactly the place, where I found Him, in His Will. I found Peace there-I found Jesus again. Peace then is not engendered or threatened by what one has, or doesn't have, its best found by opening the heart to the Will of God in the moment and receiving that moment. To possess peace, is to possess Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. To loose peace is to loose an awareness of His presence (Jesus' Presence) in whatever is going on in the moment whether inside my soul, or around me. To loose Peace is to loose in some measure Jesus in my midst. That awareness of Him and His Merciful Love.
Oratio: Example: Lord Jesus, I want You, to live in You always my Jesus- Prince of Peace. Where have I lost peace? Over what? What was said? or what happened that stole my heart away from You? That robbed me of the Joy of your presence? What filled me with fear? or anger? or angst? What is the Truth? What do you will for me Lord? What areas are in darkness? Fill me with light. Show me. I want to walk every day, every moment in your company, in your presence, I want Peace, I want You Jesus in a full measure. Come Lord Jesus, Come...Come into my heart, Dawn from on High light of my heart, guide me in your way of peace.
Contemplatio: Open your heart and just BE with Jesus and listen
Actio: Thank you Lord, I will____fill in the blank________________. Help me Jesus, stay with me, I want to stay with you. Help me in these areas:_________name them____________Bless me Jesus and bless my efforts please this day.