Lectio Divina & Visio Divina Dec 15

 December 15th, 2019 Third Sunday of Advent Matthew 11: 2-11

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Isaiah 40:3

Matthew 11:2-11

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Commentary: The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” This Sunday is so named because “Rejoice” is the first word in the entrance antiphon for today’s Mass taken from Philippians 4:4,5: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.” Some people mark this Sunday on their Advent wreath with a pink candle instead of a purple candle. This Sunday is a joyful reminder that our salvation is near.  This week’s Gospel Reading continues our Advent reflection on the person and message of John the Baptist. Last week we heard John speak about his relationship to the coming Messiah, Jesus. This week, we hear Jesus’ message to John the Baptist, now in prison, about the signs of the kingdom found in Jesus’ ministry and Jesus’ assessment of John’s role in the Kingdom of God.   The Gospel of Matthew tells the story of John’s arrest in chapter 14:3-12. In today’s Gospel, John sends word to Jesus from prison, asking if Jesus is the Messiah for whom he has been waiting. Jesus responds by pointing to the miracles that he has worked and invites John and the other hearers to make their own determination. In his next breath, however, Jesus praises John for his role in preparing the way for Jesus. Then Jesus says that all of those who work for the Kingdom of God will be as great as John and even greater.  Jesus’ message to John about the signs of the kingdom being performed recalls the salvation described by the prophet Isaiah. This passage is a reminder that the beginning of salvation is already mysteriously present to us, but also yet to be fulfilled. Salvation is already in our midst as manifest in the miraculous deeds of Jesus and in the Church. But salvation is also to be fulfilled in the coming reign of God. Even as we observe our world today, we can find glimpses of God’s work among us. Even more, we help to prepare the way for God’s kingdom by our words and our deeds. This message is indeed a cause for rejoicing.


1.  Have you ever hoped to meet someone special?  Did you get the chance?

2.  When have you been in conflict or felt frustration with someone from a different background? 

3. How does listening to the stories of others help you better understand them?

Audio Words to the Song – Everyday Life by Coldplay

What in the world are we going to do?  / Look at what everybody’s going through

What kind of world do you want it to be?  / Am I the future or the history?

‘Cause everyone hurts, everyone cries

Everyone tells each other all kinds of lies

Everyone falls, everybody dreams and doubts

Got to keep dancing when the lights go out

How in the world am I going to see You as my brother, not my enemy?

‘Cause everyone hurts, everyone cries

Everyone sees the colour in each other’s eyes

Everyone loves, everybody gets their hearts ripped out

Got to keep dancing when the lights go out

Got to keep dancing when the lights go out

Hold tight for everyday life

Hold tight for everyday life

At first light, throw my arms out, open wide

Hallelujah, hallelujah


Hallelujah, hallelujah



Visio Divina

A group of people standing in front of a crowd

Description automatically generated
Saint John The Baptist Preaching In The Wilderness by Anton Raphael Mengs

1.Visio (See) Look at the art. What do you see? What is happening?

2.Meditatio (Meditate) How does it make you feel?

3.Lectio (Read, Context) Read the Gospel passage above. Read the Commentary above. How does the painting correspond with the Gospel? Consider following:

The clothing of John the Baptist

His right hand

The banner (It probably says “the lamb of God” in Latin)

Red cloak

The rugged landscape

The River

4.Oratio (Pray) Silently sit with this image opening yourself up to the flow of the Holy Spirit.

5.Contemplatio (Ponder) How is God speaking to you in this Visio Divina? Share your thoughts by writing them or telling them.

6. Operatio (Act) Because of this Visio Divina, what acts or changes in thinking do you want to happen in your life?

Visio Divina Links on CARFLEO

Advent Art on CARFLEO

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