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).
I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and then picture this scene below:
You see Jesus in the middle of His own town square, a place he is familiar with, people recognize him and know him. You listen to him as he teaches the crowd. As he is talking, you see some people carrying someone on a stretcher, you try to see who it is but you can’t see over all the people crowded around. They bring this person to Jesus. You push closer, trying to get close enough to see who it is. As you finally get to the center of the crowd, you see the person lying on the stretcher… and you recognize them… it’s you.
Now with this new perspective imagine yourself in this position. You lay there, paralyzed and Jesus just looks at you with indescribable kindness and a deep love in his gentle eyes. But what is paralyzing you? What is keeping you from walking to Jesus by yourself?
As you are thinking about these things you notice JESUS comes to YOU. He bends down to be at the same level as you and says “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” Then after that he says “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
All of the sudden you feel a rush flow through your body. You can feel your hands and feet. They feel new and you have more strength than you’ve ever had before. So you do as the Lord has bid you. You rise to your feet, while the crowds stare in total awe. You pick up your stretcher and walk for the first time in what seems like forever. And you go home completely healed.
There are two things I want you to focus on.
One, think of the people who are carrying the stretcher. They put down whatever they were doing to bring the person they love to the Lord. Who are the people in your life who will stop on a dime, put down what they are doing, and help you to Jesus so that he can heal you?
Two, think about what paralyzes you? Is it fear, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, anger, etc? Maybe it’s the current situation, the virus, the social distancing, the rioting, the media, the politics, and all the unrest in our country. What is it that doesn’t allow you to get up and walk to Jesus yourself?
Notice that Jesus meets you where you are. He overcomes all fear and anxiety and calls you his child. That is what you are first, a child. His child. Nothing else is as important as knowing this and believing this in your heart. Jesus can and will heal you of anything when you bring it to him in faith and trust.
Friends, today, bring him that one thing that paralyzes you the most. Let him heal that. All you have to do is sit there as his little child and receive his love for you.
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.
Who are the people in your life who will stop on a dime, and help you to Jesus so that he can heal you? Who are the people you would drop everything for to bring them to Jesus?
What is paralyzing you? What keeps you from walking to Jesus?
What healing do ask of Jesus to free you from what paralyzes you? How do the tender words of Christ from today's Gospel help you in your healing?
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.
"Heal me, Lord."
"I trust you."
"Lead me in your love."
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?
Later today, reflect on this meditation again. See Jesus walk over to you and say the words, "your sins are forgiven" and bring healing into your heart. Then, journal about how this meditation and Scripture passage lead you to deeper spiritual healing and a deeper relationship with Jesus.
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 Anna Roche, the High School Youth Minister at St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake, IL.
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