LECTIO DIVINA: Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

john_the_baptist_prepares_the_way (1)

Mt. 3:1-12.

  1. Invoking the Holy Spirit.

We invoke the Holy Spirit using the words of St. Augustine.

          Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God; put in us your flame; enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128, 4). Amen.

  • Lectio.

With the heart well disposed, with serenity, read slowly the following words, savoring them and allowing yourself to be touched by them.

          1 In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” 4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locust and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit that befits repentance, 9 and do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

  • Meditatio.

Let us now meditate with the commentary of St. Augustine on these words of the Gospel according to St. Matthew.

          “Prepare the way of the Lord.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness, the voice of one who breaks the silence. Prepare the way of the Lord: as if to say: “My sound is aimed at making that He enter the hearts; but he does not deign to come to the place where I like to introduce him unless you prepare the way.” What does it mean: Prepare the way for him, but “Request him properly”? What does it mean: Prepare the way for him, but: “Have thoughts of humility”? Receive from him the example of humility. They take him for Christ, and he says that he is not that for whom they take him; he does not make his own the error of others not even to feed his ego. If he had said that it was he, how easily they would have believed him since they were believing that it was he even before he said anything. But he did not say it; he acknowledged who he was, he deferred to Christ, he humbled himself. He saw where his salvation was; he understood that he was a lamp, and he feared that the wind of pride would put it out” (s. 293,3).

          “You must be just with yourself, including punishing yourself; since the first justice of man is to punish himself for being bad, and thus God will make you good. And this first justice of man opens for him the road to God, that he may come to you. Open the road to him by the confession of your sins. John acted that way, when he was baptizing with the water of repentance, and he wanted that those who repented of past actions come to him, and he said to them: Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths. If you, man, took pleasure in your sins, that now let what you were displease you, so that you can become what you were not. Prepare the way of the Lord; let that justice precede by acknowledging your sins. He will come to visit you, because he will put his steps in the road, because he has where to put his foot, and where he can come near you. On the contrary, before you confessed your sins, the road was obstructed for God to arrive to you. He had no path to approach you. Confess your life, and you will open the road, and Christ will come to you, he will put his steps on the road; thus he will instruct you to follow his tracts” (en. Ps. 84, 16)

  • Oratio.

With the text, let us now pray from the depths of our heart. I suggest the following phrases and question that can awaken in you dialogue with God, and at the same time can give rise to affections and sentiments in your dialogue with God. Do not move to the next phrase or question if you can still continue dialoguing with God in one of them. It is not a matter of exhausting the list, but of helping you to pray with some points that better fit your personal experience.

  1. “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Mt. 3:3).
  • What does ‘prepare the way of the Lord’ mean?
  • How can you concretely prepare the way of the Lord in your life?
  • “What does it mean: Prepare the way of the Lord, but “Have thoughts of humility”? Receive from John the Baptist the example of humility” (s. 293, 3).
  • What does “having thought of humility” mean to you?
  • How can you imitate the example of John the Baptist?
  • Pray with the phrase: “Help me to prepare your ways, O Lord.”
  • Contemplatio.

I propose to you some points for affective interior contemplation. Once again you do not need to follow all of it, rather you can choose what fits your personal experience.

  1. Contemplate John the Baptist, how he preaches forcefully and with conviction the Word of God. Contemplate and ask the same enthusiasm and conviction for your life.
  • Contemplate how Christ through his spirit makes straight the roads of your heart. Contemplate what he has to remove to make them straight and plain.
  • Communicatio.

Think of everything that you can share with those around you about the experience you had with God, especially on how to prepare the way for the Lord. The following points can help you as guide to share with your community the experience of the lectio divina on this text:

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does if give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?
  • Final Prayer of St. Augustine.

Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with a pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en, Ps. 150:8). “(God) calls us to conversion; he waits that we return to him; he pardons if we return to him and he crowns us if we do not depart from him”(s. 29A, 2). +

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2023 >
January
SMTuWThFS
12
  • All day
    January 2, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Conrado Flores, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emma Toro, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Marcelina Nicolas, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Erlinda Casaje, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Arsenia Villanueva (Trial / Urbiztondo Chapter)
    Charlene Catchillar (RAY-Urbiztondo)
    Jorge Datuin (RAY-Urbiztondo)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION

    (2021-2023)
    Fray Chrislean Rey Pamilaga

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Rizalina Salera, SAR (Cavite Chapter)

3
  • All day
    January 3, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Danny Cabuslay Jr. (aspirant)
    Sr. Ma. Bella Mojica, AR
    Sis. Basilisa Espinola, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Carmencita Abis, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Melodina Paragat, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Estelita Buenavista, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Angelina Bacalso, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Tita Montemayor (Tondo Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Clemencia Ranin, AR

4
  • All day
    January 4, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Ernil Orbecido, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Mary Grace Susas, SAR (Talisay Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Cristina Domingo, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Bro. Nenito Javarez (Puerto Prtincesa Chapter / Trial)
    Fran Cheska Marie Andan (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Regina Cadiz, AR
    +Sr. Adelaida Elli, AR

5
  • All day
    January 5, 2023

    FUNERAL OF THE LATE +POPE-EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jude Dacullo (postulant)
    Sis. Estelita Divinagracia, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Emiliana Carao, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Bro. Jose Pepito Bonete Jr., SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Yulanda Lim, SAR (Trial / Miranila Chapter)
    Leila Barizo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Fray Casiano Cosmilla
    +Sr. Ma. Cleofe Claro, AR

6
  • All day
    January 6, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Sylvia Evina, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Sis. Grace Aba-a, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Aurora Decipolo, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Remedios Solatan, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Dominga Torregosa, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Juana de la Merced, AR
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)

7
  • All day
    January 7, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sis. Eliza Stubbs, SAR (Miranila Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lorelie Cabanes, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)

8
  • All day
    January 8, 2023

    SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS

    Fray Cristito Rey Tepace, OAR
    St. Michael the Archangel Parish Church
    Laoang, Northern Samar / @1600H

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Ian Anthony Espartero
    Sr. Leticia Cerdeño, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    Most Rev. Julito Cortes, D.D. (Diocese of Dumaguete)

9
  • All day
    January 9, 2023

    FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

    PROVINCE-LEVEL CHRISTMAS PARTY
    Venue: Provincial Curia
    Time: 1200H

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Joshua Miguel Salmon (postulant)
    Sr. Rosario Bianes, AR
    Sis. Marcelina Taguinod, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Dominga Gargarita, AR

10
  • All day
    January 10, 2023

    OAR FORMANDS’ CONVENTION START
    Venue: CARES, Baguio City
    Inclusive Dates: January 10-12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jayson Solmayor (postulant)
    Sis. Shirley Ostia (Tondo Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Luz Asuncion Nitura, AR
    +Sr. Paulina de la Purisima Corazon de Maria, AR

11
  • All day
    January 11, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Catalina Ruiz, AR
    Sis. Elena Dagdag, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Ian Gabrielle Canlubo (RAY-Cavite)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Zita Lloren, AR
    +Sis. Elena Caballero, SAR (San Carlos Chapter) f

12
  • All day
    January 12, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Reynaldo Jaranilla
    Sis. Josephine Guinto, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Fortunata Gaspillo, AR
    +Bro. Hilario Torcedo, SAR (Baguio Chapter)

13
  • All day
    January 13, 2023

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    (1998-2023)
    Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D. (Archdiocese of Cebu)

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Jonathan Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Bro. Antonio Sonsona, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Mo. Rosario Rosales, AR

14
  • All day
    January 14, 2023

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS

    Fray James Erold Gatinao, OAR
    St. Joseph the Husband of Mary Parish Church
    Poblacion, Narra, Palawan / @900H

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Emilia Madrigal, AR
    Bro. Jose Valdez, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Luisa Gumiran, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Bro. Patrich Miguel Ajos (Bacolod Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Esterlita Gracia, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    +Sis. Aurea Figura, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Vicenta Prado, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

15
  • 4:04 PM
    January 15, 2023

    FEAST OF THE STO. NINO

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Anthony Irineo
    Sr. Ma. Marcela de la Cruz, AR
    Bro. Maximo Epanto, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Virgen de la Consolacion, AR

16
  • All day
    January 16, 2023

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DEAD RELATIVES OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    ANNUAL RETREAT (THIRD BATCH)
    Retreat Master: Fr. Elias Ayuban Jr., CMF
    Theme: “Synodality and Charismatic Identity”
    Venue: Talavera House of Prayer, Cebu City
    Inclusive Dates: January 15-19, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Br. Jhon Russel Manalstas (aspirant)
    Br. Janrhey Palmis (aspirant)
    Mo. Maria del Carmen, OAR (Bacolod)
    Sr. Zerah Cordero, AR
    Sis. Alice Mojica, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Bernarda Tan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Melissa Sandil, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Lucia Degamo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Ma. Amelia Casiño, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    +Bro. Rustico Magdales, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Cleofe Alvarez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Carmencita Victorino, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    +Sis. Lucila Young, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

17
  • All day
    January 17, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Corvin Maturan
    Sis. Belen Taniagao, SAR (Miranila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Celedonia de la Santissima Trinidad, AR
    +Sr. Cesaria Barbarona, AR

18
  • All day
    January 18, 2023

    WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
    January 18-25, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Joseph Dexter Palagtiosa
    Sis. Guia Gonzales, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Christina So, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Rhea Canania (RAY-Urbiztondo)

19
  • All day
    January 19, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    FRAY MIGUEL ÁNGEL HERNÁNDEZ, OAR (Prior General)
    Sr. Cleofe Maria Agua, AR
    Sis. Angelica Tejada, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Myrna Amante, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Teodora Delus, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Sheny Valerio, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)
    Sis. Rosario Grace Roldan, SAR (Manila Chapter / Trial)

20
  • All day
    January 20, 2023

    ST. SEBASTIAN (Patron Saint of Manila & Cavite Communities, Diocese of Bacolod)

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Adelina Reyes, AR
    Sis. Mercedes Velada, SAR (Tondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Bibiana Madrietta, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

21
  • All day
    January 21, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Urbano Galanido
    Fray Jerome Virtudazo
    Sis. Leticia de Silva, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Sis. Alicia Catulong, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Ofelia Balocating, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Flaviana Minoza, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

22
  • All day
    January 22, 2023

    SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD

    [Pope   Francis’   Apostolic   Letter, Motu   proprio Aperuit  illis, published on  30 September 2019, establishes that “the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is   to   be   devoted   to   the   celebration, study   and
    dissemination of the Word of God”.]

    BIRTHDAY

    Most Rev. Victor Bendico, DD (Bishop of Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Jovito Padua, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)

23
  • All day
    January 23, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Marciano Cleofas, SAR (Provincialate Chapter)
    Sis. Gloria Acosta, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Esterlina Silva, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Rose Marie Gaspar, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Melba Cariño, SAR (Puerto Princesa Chapter)
    Judith Mondejar (RAY-Caidiocan)
    Kathrine Bacalso (RAY-Laray)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Gertrudis del Pilar, AR
    +Sr. Cresencia Vailoces, AR
    +Sis. Felisa Torrecampo, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

24
  • All day
    January 24, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Ma. Paz Bawagan, AR
    Sr. Faith Niña Fuertes, AR
    Sis. Florida San Juan, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Sis. Raymunda Co, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Paz Chico, SAR (Baguio Chapter)
    Analyn Martinez (RAY-Valencia)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Teofilo Jabonero, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

25
  • All day
    January 25, 2023

    SOLEMNITY OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

    BIRTHDAY

    Bro. Rodelio Gasparillo, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Bro. Feddie Junsay Jr., SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Joelle Maria Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sr. Ma. Lucia Sagmit, AR

26
  • All day
    January 26, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Cristopher Maspara
    Br. Ken Joshua Manalo (aspirant)
    Sis. Henrietta Morales, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Emenciana Cabaral, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION

    (2005-2023)
    Most Rev. Reynaldo Evangelista, D.D. (Diocese of Imus)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Margarita Zafra, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

27
  • All day
    January 27, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Marilyn Cula, AR
    Sr. Remilyn Leonido, AR
    Sis. Evelyn Balingit, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Florepis Vergara, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Sis. Welim Husayan (Laray Chapter / Trial)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Sis. Murita Jara, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    +Sis. Eusebia Siarez, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

28
  • All day
    January 28, 2023

    HOMETOWN THANKSGIVING MASS

    Fray Julius James Tinapao, OAR
    Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church
    Bayawan City, Negros Oriental / @1000H

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Louie Gabinete
    Sis. Lita Lorenzo, SAR (Manila Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda del Pilar, AR
    Sr. Ines Garcia, AR

29
  • All day
    January 29, 2023

    4TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

    70th WORLD LEPROSY DAY BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Francisca Rojas, AR
    Sis. Lourdes Insigne, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Anecita Paglinawan, SAR (Laray Chapter)
    Sis. Angelina Duhig, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    Jona Mendoza (RAY-Miranila)
    Marielet Vital (RAY-Urbiztondo)

30
  • All day
    January 30, 2023

    BIRTHDAY

    Fray Jonathan Caballero
    Sr. Angelica Fuentes, AR
    Sr. Pascualina Peral, AR
    Sis. Violeta Siozon, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Fedencia de la Cruz, SAR (Brooke’s Point Chapter)
    Sis. Minerva Alcarde, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Sis. Evangeline Castro, SAR (Urbiztondo Chapter)
    Sis. Julieta Dawa, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY

    +Bro. Jay Rosauro Cortez, SAR (Manila Chapter

31
  • All day
    January 31, 2023

    APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO CONGO-KINSHASA
    (January 31 – February 3)

    DAY 1: ROME-KINSHASA

    07:55     Departure by airplane from Rome/Fiumicino International Airport to Kinshasa
    15:00     Arrival at Kinshasa “Ndjili” International Airport
    15:00     OFFICIAL WELCOME
    16:30     WELCOME CEREMONY at the “Palais de la Nation”
    16:45      COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the “Salle Présidentielle” of the “Palais de la Nation”
    17:30      MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the garden of the “Palais de la Nation”

    BIRTHDAY

    Sr. Josephine Ativo, AR
    Sis. Saturnina Antolihao, SAR (Tondo Chapter)
    Lance Raven Lapinig (RAY-Talisay)

    

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