Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
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).
Today’s gospel is a great reminder about the nature of sin and why Jesus came to save us.
We often think of sin as the breaking of God’s rules and laws... which it is. Unfortunately, we often see His law as an arbitrary set of rules we need to follow, otherwise He gets angry with us. But God’s law is in place to protect us from the destructive effects of sin in our lives. As we walk this earth, the Lord doesn’t need to punish us for our sins because sin is its own punishment.
When I was in high school I started dating a girl that I shouldn’t have. The relationship quickly became impure, and it was emotionally and mentally unhealthy for both of us. As the relationship progressed, the effects of sin on my life were manifested more and more clearly. My relationships with my other friends deteriorated because I was so obsessed with this girl. I became more agitated and hot-tempered. My attitude became more cynical and negative, and my language became more crude. I lied to friends and family, and I refused their warnings and help. Worst of all, my relationship with the Lord suffered, and I was starting to lose myself.
God didn’t need to punish me. My own sin was punishment enough.
Sin damages our hearts and destroys our lives. In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.” In this we see a glimpse into the mind and heart of God. He doesn’t stand in heaven with His arms crossed, angrily watching our lives from a distance, and shaking His head in disappointment. He saw us suffering and dying in our own sin, and He sent His only Son -- the Divine Physician -- to offer us grace and healing.
You and I are sick.
Sin is destroying us, and we need help. Like Matthew in today’s gospel, let’s invite the Lord into our lives, and allow Him to bring us the healing and peace we so desperately need.
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.
Have you ever been in the midst of sin that has not only wrecked your relationship with the Lord, but it's also ruining relationships with family and friends?
Are you afraid to go to the Divine Physician because you have a vision of Him "in heaven with His arms crossed, angrily watching our lives from a distance, and shaking His head in disappointment"?
What do you need to begin returning to the Lord from your sin?
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 need you."
"Lord, have mercy."
"Lord, I love you."
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?
Take some in prayer to bring your sin to the Lord and ask for His healing today. This might be a big thing or a small thing, whatever it is for you - ask Him to begin healing you and restoring your relationship with Him. If you don't know where to begin, start with the Jesus prayer: "Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner."
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinaire in Crystal Lake, IL.
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