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).
One of the spiritual greats of our church, St. Ignatius, loved to direct his students to pray with the scriptures by imaginatively placing themselves in the middle of the story.
Let’s imagine we are living in a small town near a lake. There has been a growing buzz about this guy from a few towns away. He used to work as a carpenter, and had a reputation for making good, sturdy furniture. But lately, he has hung up his hammer and started traveling around the countryside preaching.
People say he’s not like your typical rabbi-preacher, however. A friend’s aunt has heard him, and says he speaks with authority, but also incredible kindness. He is certainly stirring people up. The town leaders are grumbling because he seems to flaunt the law. Yesterday, he healed someone right there in the synagogue, even though it was the Sabbath.
Imagine you decide to go listen to this preacher for yourself. You hear that, because of the contention with the synagogue leaders, he has withdrawn into the hills. You set off, and find him an hour later teaching, with dozens of people sitting in the grass around his feet. You find a spot off to one side and settle in to listen. His words seem to speak directly to you, stirring up hopes and convictions from deep in your heart. Then he begins to walk among people and offer healing. He doesn’t charge a fee. He doesn’t focus only on the most gravely ill or the oldest or the youngest. He is healing anyone and everyone who has followed him here and desires it.
Now he is making his way over to you. He looks you straight in the eye. His eyes are full of light. Take a minute and imagine what Jesus might say to you. Are you in need of healing in some way? What does he ask you, and what do you tell him? What if your desire for healing extends beyond yourself? Perhaps you carry a burden for the wounds of racism, or divisiveness or isolation. Jesus can help us with this too.
As the psalm from today reminds us about the Lord: “you behold misery and sorrow, taking them into your hands.” Have a conversation with Jesus about what needs his healing. He is ready to hold, heal and help us with it all.
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.
As Jesus comes to you, the healer moving through his people, what is it like when he looks at you? What does he say to you?
How does Jesus want to heal you today? What are the things in your life that you want to present to him?
What is going on in your life that you've been trying to take care of on your own? How can you surrender that to the Lord 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.
"You are healer."
"You are good."
"In you we have hope."
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, spend some time in imaginative prayer. Maybe it's while going for a walk, or just daydreaming, or in the shower, or while cooking. Let your heart and mind imagine a real encounter with Jesus, and soak in the power of his presence and his voice in your life.
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 Liz Riegel, who lives in Cary, NC and has worked for the Church in various ministries settings.
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.