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"Lectio divina is an authentic source of Christian spirituality recommended by our Rule. We therefore practice it every day, so that we may develop a deep and genuine love for it, and so that we may grow in the surpassing knowledge of Christ. In this way we shall put into practice the Apostle Paul’s commandment, which is mentioned in our Rule: “Let the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, live abundantly in your mouth and in your hearts; and whatever you must do, do it in the name of the Lord.”

 Carmelite Constitutions (No. 82)

Divina Lectio: Sacred Heart of Mary

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Lectio Divina: 
Saturday, June 9, 2018

1. Opening Prayer

O God, who has prepared a worthy dwelling place of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, through her intercession grant that we, your faithful, may be a living temple of Your glory. We ask this, through Christ our Lord ...

2. Reading

Luke 2:41-51
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.

3. Meditation

* "Every year the feast of Passover." These words help us to  define the spiritual context in which the passage takes place and thus become, for us, the gateway to enter the mystery of His encounter with the Lord and His work of grace and mercy upon us.

Together with Mary and Joseph, with Jesus, we too can live the gift of a new Passover, a "crossing," an excess, a spiritual movement that takes us "beyond.” The passage is clear and strong. What the Virgin Mary intuits in this experience with her son Jesus is the step from the street to the heart of the dispersion to interiority, from anguish to peace.

All that remains is to journey  down the street and join the feast, the feast of pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover.

* "Their way" This is only the first of a series of verbs of motion, which follow one another along the verses of this passage:  "they went", "return to the path", "group" (from the Latin cum-ire, "walking together"); "journey"; "back"; "went down with them, " " arrive .”

In parallel with this great physical movement, there is also a deep spiritual movement characterized by the verb "look", expressed over and over again: "they began to look for," "returned in search of Him," "looking for You anxiously,” " why you sought Me?”

This tells us that the journey, the true path to which the Lord's word calls us, is not a physical journey, but a journey in search of Jesus, of His presence in our lives. And this is the direction in which we move, together with Mary and Joseph.

 * "They began to look for Him" Here we can identify the core of the text, its fundamental message. It is important that we open ourselves to a deeper understanding of this reality. Also because Luke uses two different verbs to express the "search,”  the first indicating accurate, repeated, careful, as some of those who browse, from bottom to top, and second which indicates the search for something that is lost and you want to find. Jesus is the object of all this movement and deep inner being, is the object of desire, the longing of the heart.

 * "Distressed" It is great to see how Mary opens her heart to Jesus, telling Him what she felt within herself. She is not afraid to tell the truth to her Son, to tell Him the feelings and experiences that they felt deeply. But what is this anguish, this pain that you saw in Mary and Joseph in search of Jesus, who went missing?

These 3 days of looking, the journey to Jerusalem, and not understanding His words afterward, may also be considered a prefiguring the narrative of His death and Resurrection.

* "Kept all these sayings in her heart" Mary does not understand the words of Jesus, the mystery of His life and His mission and for this remains silent, accepts, makes space, keeps them in her heart. This is the true path of growth in faith and relationship with the Lord.

Once again, Luke gives us a very beautiful and meaningful word which means literally "keeping through.” That is the spiritual operation that Mary carries within herself and that give us as a precious gift, a legacy for our good relationship with the Lord, so that it can  take us into a journey deep, deep, that does not stop at the surface, or half, which is not coming back, but it goes deep down. Mary takes us by the hand and guides us through all her heart, all her feelings, her experiences. And there, in the secrecy of ourselves, in our hearts, we can learn to find the Lord Jesus, whom perhaps we had lost.

There is also a loss for Mary and Joseph. Up until now, Joseph was identified with “my father”. Now it is changed. He is not just her son, or their son, but son of our Heavenly Father. In all this is another sorrow, one of parents, that they do not understand their child: “But they did not understand what He said to them.”

4. Some questions

* There are many foreshadows of the Passion in this passage. Can I identify the depth of things symbolized here?

* Do I feel like I am seeking the Lord? Or does it not seem important? Is it an active part of my life every day?

* Has anxiety, spoken by Mary, ever been my companion on the journey of my life? Maybe, thanks to this passage, I discover that the anxiety is caused by the absence of the Lord, the loss of God.  Does this passage help me, give me a light and a key for my life?

* As a parent (past, future, or present), do I see a relationship and partnership with God the Father in raising my children, and do I give room for God to be an active participant in this? Am I a wall between God and them, or am I translator, or do I allow them to build their relationship at the same time?

5. Closing Prayer

And as she worshiped the LORD, she said:
"My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.
There is no Holy One like the LORD;
there in no Rock like our God.
"Speak boastfully no longer,
nor let arrogance issue from your mouths.
For an all-knowing God is the LORD,
a God who judges deeds.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
The LORD puts to death and gives life;
He casts down to the nether world; He raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich,
He humbles, He also exalts.
He raises the needy from the dust;
from the ash heap He lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S,
and He has set the world upon them.
1 Samuel 2:1-8

As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister." 

 



date | by Dr. Radut