God With Us in the Word: The Gospels

December 22, 2018

This Sunday is our fourth week of Advent and then just two days later we celebrate Christmas.  We turn to praying the daily Gospel together this week in our series, God With us in the Word.

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Pray with Me:  Click here to listen to Becky’s Guided Lectio Divina for Week 4

So often when we see today’s reading in images, we see two young women greeting each other, both pregnant.  What we have to remember is that Elizabeth was “advanced in years” as it says earlier in this chapter of Luke (Luke 1:7), and Mary, her cousin, was a young teenager. As we pray this Gospel together, let us call to mind the beauty of an older woman who is with child greeting a young teen who is also with child. What must their conversations have sounded like as they visited together both pondering in wonder and awe what God did in their lives!

4th Sunday of Advent Gospel:  Luke 1:39-45

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed that what
was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The Method of Lectio Divina:

Lectio Divina is a slow, rhythmic reading and praying of a Scripture passage. Here’s a brief recap of the steps of Lectio Divina:

  1. Read: Pick any passage in Scripture.  Slowly, thoughtfully, savor the word.  Linger whenever a word or phrase touches your heart.
  2. Reflect: What is God saying to you in this passage?  Offering you?  Asking you?
  3. Respond: Respond to God from your heart.  Speak to God of your feelings and insights.  Offer these to God.
  4. Rest in God: Sit quietly in God’s presence.  Rest in God’s love.


  1. Week 4 Scripture Resource Sheet (December 23-29)
  2. Order Packs of 10 Lectio Divina Cards – Great for Small Groups
  3. Printable Lectio Divina Prayer Card

Go Deeper?

Cultivating Space for God Together:

  • The Online Busy Person’s Retreat in January is now full! Mark your calendars for the next one, April 1-4, 2019.
  • Goodbye 2019! Watch for an email from me later this week wrapping up the year and introducing my next series on the Examen starting December 31.

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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