Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
As we reflect on today’s Gospel, it is interesting that Jesus heals a man from his illness and there is panic happening today with the Coronavirus. All sickness and disease is difficult for those affected or those fighting to be healed. Something I have been reflecting on this Lent is my spiritual health. Am I taking particular care of my mind and soul in the same manner as I try to care for myself physically. Do I enter into gossip knowing my heart will be clouded with judgement towards others? Do I choose to spend time listening in prayer, or do I just “show up” physically to pray and put up a wall emotionally between myself and the Lord? Ask yourself these questions too.
In Scripture we read of several miracles performed by Jesus and this one in particular is simple and relatable. We don’t know the heart of the sick man- his struggles, the reason he was ill, or what exactly his ailment was- but we can recognize that his heart is pure. The man simply desires to enter the pool of Bethesda to soothe his pain, but others keep “cutting in line” before him. When Jesus saw him lying there he was aware that this poor man has been suffering for many years. Jesus could have easily just healed the sick man and told him to get up and walk. When I said that this Gospel can be relatable to many of us, this is the part that I mean- Jesus’ question:
“Do you want to be well?”
By asking this question, Jesus gives this man an opportunity to be vulnerable. He KNOWS that the sick man wants to be well- obviously- but he allows a moment of reflection, a moment of compassion, a moment for the man to feel known by giving an answer.
Our sins make us sick. That sickness can be spread by our actions and behaviors. It is our reality that Jesus does know the sins, lies, insecurities that fester in our hearts and cause illness in our spiritual journey. How would you respond if Jesus asked you today, “do you want to be well?” What do you seek healing from in your life? Do you want to be well and have opportunities to live a healthy and balanced spiritual life? Let’s rise up from any sickness in our hearts that our sins have caused and walk confidently as healed, loved, and known sons and daughters of the Great Physician.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Am I taking as much time to care for my spiritual health as I am for my physical health right now?
Do I want to be well? What spiritual sickness is afflicting me: sin, laziness, lack of desire, etc.?
How is Jesus seeking to heal me today?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Lord, I want to be well."
"You are the Great Physician."
"Heal my body and my soul."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katy Praetzel, a worship leader in Pittsburgh, PA.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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