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).
Take a moment to imagine the way Simon the Pharisee would have heard Jesus’ parable in today’s Gospel.
I can almost picture the prodding look in Jesus’ eyes when he turned to Simon and said, “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages…”
“Ahhh,” Simon the Pharisee must have thought to himself. “Five hundred days’ wages! He’s talking about this sinful woman. What an impossible debt to pay. I’m sure that the creditor will take the first debtor as a slave until it can be paid off. This woman’s sins have caught up to her; she’s doomed. I’m glad I’m not like her.”
Until Jesus continued, with a knowing look at Simon: “And the other debtor owed fifty… [both of them] were unable to repay the debt.”
It can be tempting to focus on other people’s sins as the really serious ones, without ever considering the weight of our own sins. Simon the Pharisee had sinned, just like the woman he was so quick to condemn — in fact, later in this Gospel, Jesus outlines all the ways that Simon fell short of loving Him just in the last hour. These “small” sins are easy to ignore, but they wound our hearts and need the forgiveness of the merciful Father just as much as the big ones do.
Maybe you feel like your sins are like the crushing weight of five hundred days’ wages, or maybe you relate a little more to the Pharisee, who’s sins weren’t “as bad” as someone else’s. Either way, your sins can be forgiven only when you bring them to the feet of Jesus, who is love and mercy Himself.
And in those moments when we might be tempted to think we haven’t fallen, like the Pharisee, we need to ask for the grace to see both the weight of our own debt and the great mercy of forgiveness that is offered to each one of us. No matter how small or large the debt of our sins, we deserve nothing, but Jesus offers everything.
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.
What are the little sins that you don't really take the time to think about, or the ones that seem too small to ask God for mercy over?
What are some of the big sins that are weighing on your heart, like a five hundred days wages?
How will you seek God's mercy today to receive His forgiveness and love?
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, have mercy."
"Clean my heart."
"I'm sorry and 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?
Today, sit down with God and be real about your sins. Open up to Him about the little things and the big things and ask for His mercy. Open your heart to His love and you will receive it. Also, some time this week, go to Confession and receive His mercy sacramentally.
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 Becca O’Hara, who loves Jesus and lives with her husband Chris in Halifax, Canada, where they both work for the Church.
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.