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).
When I was a little kid we had a yellow lab named Chase. Chase was an interesting pet and certainly lived up to his namesake (all in all we counted 58 separate times he ran away and we went and found him). As a kid, like many, one of my favorite pastimes with him was to sneak him food at dinner when no one else was looking. Obviously, I became his favorite for it and he always knew who to come to at dinner time.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus and His disciples encounter a woman looking for the scraps. Her daughter is tortured by a demon, exactly with what we do not know, however it is safe to say many of us could probably envision ourselves in her shoes: tired, broken down, anxious, fearful. The disciples want nothing to do with her and they tell Jesus to send her away; they think she is crazy and that Jesus wants nothing to do with her. Jesus instead tells them He has come for lost sheep of Israel, but still speaks with her. The woman’s response to Jesus is incredible, saying that she would gladly feast on the scraps that fell from her master’s table (master here meaning Jesus). In its turn, Jesus grants her more than the scraps and instead completely shatters her expectations by freeing her daughter from the demon and sending her off in peace.
The great example of faith in today’s Gospel comes from this woman who longed for the scraps. Translated into more direct words, even in the greatest of hardships, het daughter being tortured by a literal demon, she longs for Jesus. She desires His love and healing touch, even as things look bleak, dire, and hopeless.
As well, take a look at her humility: she longs for the scraps that fall from the master’s table. She is not desiring a huge vision, massive emotional experience, or even a feeling of happiness or peace necessarily. She begs and longs for just the tiniest and simplest glimpse of the love of Christ simply because He is Christ and in Him she knows there is nothing else she could want.
What a beautiful example we have for our own lives: come to Jesus broken, weary, tired, fearful, anxious, and He will give you peace. Come to Him humble and faithful knowing that we have a Lord who is better than our expectations and will completely satisfy and fill us with His love and peace. Come to Him asking for healing and comfort and He will grant it: “Let it be done for you as you wish.”
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.
Do you trust the Lord will be enough for you and that He wills your good? Why or why not?
Do you have the boldness to come to the Lord with all your needs? Why or why not?
How can we be humble enough to trust in God's love and know He will take care of us?
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."
"You are enough for me."
"Jesus, I trust in 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?
Give God the desires of your heart today. Trust that He will take care of them all, and if not in the way you thought, then in a much better way.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.