"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)
Lectio Divina: Matthew 11,16-19
Friday, December 15, 2017
2nd Week of Advent
1) Opening prayer Lord our God, too often we are deaf to your voice and to the presence of your Son among us, his people. Inspire us by your prophets and your Spirit that now is the right moment to change and to commit ourselves to the kind of life and to the justice demanded by the kingdom. Help us to make people see that your Son is alive among us and that he is our Lord for ever.
2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 11, 16-19 'What comparison can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place: We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn't dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn't be mourners. 'For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, "He is possessed." The Son of man came, eating and drinking, and they say, "Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.'
3) Reflection • The leaders, the wise, are not always pleased when someone criticizes or challenges them. That happened in the time of Jesus and happens today also, both in society and in the Church. John the Baptist, saw, criticized, and was not accepted. They said: “He is possessed by the devil!” Jesus, saw, criticized and was not accepted. They said: “He has lost his head!”, “Crazy!” (Mk 3, 21). “He is possessed by the devil!” (Mk 3, 22), “He is a Samaritan!” (Jn 8, 48), “He is not from God!” (Jn 9, 16). The same thing happens today. There are some persons who hold on to what has always been taught and they do not accept another way of explaining or of living faith. Then they invent reasons and pretexts so as not to adhere: “It is Marxism!”, “It is against God’s Law!”, “It is disobedience to tradition and to the teaching of the Church” and they complain for the lack of coherence of the people. They always invent some pretext so as not to accept the message of God which Jesus announced. In fact, it is relatively easy to find arguments and pretexts to refute those who think in a way different from ours. • Jesus reacts and renders public their incoherence. They considered themselves wise, but they were like children who wish to amuse the people on the square and they rebel when people do not move according to the music that they play. Or those who consider themselves wise without really having anything truly wise. They only accepted those who had the same ideas as they had. And thus, they themselves, because of their incoherent attitude, condemned themselves.
4) Personal questions • Up to what point am I coherent with my faith? • Do I have a critical conscience regarding the social and ecclesiastical system which, some times, invents reasons and pretexts to legitimize the situation and to prevent any change?
5) Concluding Prayer Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night. (Ps 1)
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."