We begin our prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
O God, who were pleased to give us the shining example of the Holy Family, graciously grant that we may imitate them in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity, and so, in the joy of your house, delight one day in eternal re-wards. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. (Collect, Feast of the Holy Family)
Reading (Lectio) Read the following Scripture two or three times. Luke 2:41-52
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
Meditation (Meditatio) 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.
Prayer (Oratio) Read the Scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.
Contemplation (Contemplatio) Read the Scripture again, followed by this reflection: What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me? They journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. Where do I look for God? How can my friends and family help bring me closer to God? After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Where do I find God? How do I discern authoritative answers for my questions about faith? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? How can I participate in Mass more fully? What parts of my life can I re-arrange to spend more time in prayer? After a period of silent reflection and/or discussion, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:
Closing Prayer: How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Happy they who dwell in your house! Continually they praise you. Happy the men whose strength you are! Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage. O LORD of hosts, hear our prayer; hearken, O God of Jacob! O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of your anointed. (From Psalm 84)
Living the Word This Week How can I make my life a gift for others in charity? Set aside specific time in your calendar to pray and to learn more about your faith, perhaps by reading and reflecting on the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
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., Wash-ington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copy-right owner. Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights re-served.