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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)

Lectio: Luke 7, 24-30

Lectio Divina: 
Thursday, December 15, 2016

The consciousness of our guilt saddens us, O Lord, and makes us feel unworthy to serve you, we recognize that we need your salvation and forgiveness of your Father. Once again, send your messenger, because it prepares the way of your Son in front of us: we want to follow it faithfully, leaving us immersed in the baptism of Thy mercy. Give us your joy and save us with the coming of the Redeemer, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.


When the messengers of John the Baptist had left,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.
“What did you go out to the desert to see B a reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine garments?
Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously
are found in royal palaces.
Then what did you go out to see?
A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom Scripture says:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
he will prepare your way before you.

I tell you,
among those born of women, no one is greater than John;
yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”
(All the people who listened, including the tax collectors,
who were baptized with the baptism of John,
acknowledged the righteousness of God;
but the Pharisees and scholars of the law,
who were not baptized by him,
rejected the plan of God for themselves.)

We are about to enter the holy days of the Novena of Christmas and the Church invites us today, through the Liturgy of the Word, and make our choice clear, definite and strong: to accept the proposal of John the Baptist, and then we get him in the Way had come to prepare, put it on the side of a sinner and therefore in need of conversion, or the side of those who consider themselves already in possession of salvation and does not need anything.
This passage of Luke helps us to enter into a dialogue and a strong personal confrontation with Jesus, because He, with his questions and his statements, has put before us in the eyes of the heart the spiritual Path, the road that we may have already come and what still lies ahead.

* The first thing to emphasize is the threefold repetition of the question of Jesus to the crowds: "What did you go see?". It 'important, because here the text, if translated literally, says: "What you came to see?" Using this word, the Lord puts in a positive light, highlights a spiritual commitment, a process already begun.
* But at the same time, wants to help us better aware of what happened inside of us, wants to dispel our darkness, he wants to push us toward decisions more authentic and vital. And, as he always did with his disciples, still for us, he breaks the bread of the Word, reveals the meaning of Scripture, to borrow a verse from the prophecy of Malachi, Jesus gives us the real key to the figure John the Baptist. He is the messenger, the messenger of God, which opens and prepares the way for the coming of the Messiah. John is the divide between the Old and New Testaments is the bridge that leads to the true Promised Land, Jesus is the gateway to the Kingdom of God
* But, as Jesus says in the last few verses, it remains a movement of conversion. After being released, after having seen, we must listen and be baptized (v. 29). That is, you have to accept in ourselves to make a path of openness, sincere willingness to the voice of God in all this, without fear, without holding anything, we should immerse ourselves with confidence, just as in baptism. Get off the waters of mercy, and lets you fully accept, in the arms of the Father.
* The song ends with a reference to God's plan, namely for his willingness to love us, his plan of salvation. God desires, wants, desires lead us to Him for salvation and happiness full, but by our response should be a freedom, that of love. And once again, Luke presents us with a clear choice, expressed by two verbs: "recognized right" and "made room". The choice is ours.


* I consider myself among those who came out and saw? I really made this spiritual movement, which led me, at least a little, 'for God, the mystery of his will in my life and the brethren, at situations, even the most tiresome or annoying?
And my eyes were really opened to see, or even to contemplate, being able to go a bit 'over the surface of things, beyond the appearances of people and things?
And I think if it had not yet taken these steps, now, as he was opening up before me such a strong year period of preparation for the Christmas, I want to make this commitment, I want to go out and see God in my life?
* John I is presented in this piece, like a prophet, a messenger, one who prepares the way for. I think this reality, I will open myself to the force to announce the Word of God, I really start listening to the message that God wants to offer to my life, my person? If there is a road mapped out for me, I decided to take it?
* And finally, the most important step. I choose, I too, need to recognize the embrace of the Father? I threw good in the waters of his love to receive a new baptism? I still afraid to let me wet, of being enveloped by him, by his presence, his breath in my life? I want today to begin a new life? And I put a sign to say that my choice is true? Perhaps the confession, Mass attendance in a more diligent?
Yes, I really want to go down in the waters of mercy and totally immerse myself in them, without resistance, without wanting to escape. Amen.

Only you, my Lord is good.

Protect me, O God, in you I take refuge.
I told the Lord: "My Lord you, only you is my right."
Idols of the country, was all powerful gods my favor.
Multiply their sorrows who run behind a foreign god.
I do not pour out their libations of blood,
nor with my lips utter their names.

The Lord is my portion and my cup in your hands is my life.
For me the lot fell on delightful places: my heritage is beautiful.
Bless the Lord who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me, at my right hand, I stand firm.
For this rejoices my heart and my soul rejoices.

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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