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).
In the Gospel today, we are told of Jesus’ brief trip across the Sea of Galilee to a land primarily occupied by Gentiles. It’s unlikely they would have known anything about Jesus or any Jewish messianic prophecy. While there, he heals a man who is possessed not by one, but a whole legion of demons. Commanding that the demons go into a herd of pigs and tossed into the sea, the locals would prefer to go on without any divine intervention that could affect their status quo and ask Jesus to leave.
The man himself, having been healed, asks Jesus if he can remain with him and follow him back across the sea. Part is surely due to gratitude and experiencing a touch of the divine, but it’s probable that he was afraid of the demons returning without Jesus’ presence. However, Jesus denies his request and instead commands that he return to his friends to “tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Why did Jesus not let the man follow him? Isn’t that what discipleship is all about?
We shouldn’t see this so much as a rejection, but instead a commissioning. The man is sent by his savior to those who he had probably been away from for a while and who thought he was a lost cause. Typically, Jesus asks those he heals to remain quiet and tell no one, but here he asks the man to proclaim what had been done for him in a region than remained without God. The people had rejected Jesus and they needed one of their own to help transform them by introducing them to Christ.
I’m reminded of another unlikely character who was sent to preach to the Gentiles – Paul. He had spent great energy in persecuting Christians, but Jesus called him to show the power that transformation in Christ can have. How often does God do this! He uses the weak to shame the strong, calling the ones who we ourselves would be the least likely to choose.
Jesus is never done with us and won’t put us in a situation that would remove us from his grace. We may make decisions that do that, but we always have the power of Christ to keep us. It’s when we experience the mercy of God that we are set on a path to serve the Gospel for the salvation of others. We even find ourselves unable to keep quiet about what God as done for us and, as with the man healed in today’s Gospel, we are encouraged by Christ to simply share all the Lord has done for us.
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 has Jesus done for you that you need to tell others about?
Jesus has chosen you for a reason, what is He calling you to do?
Who can you share Jesus with 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.
"I want to follow you Lord."
"Help me Jesus."
"Jesus you are never done with me."
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?
Make a list of all the things Jesus has done for you. Sit and pray with it. And ask Jesus what He wants you to proclaim.
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 Kevin Gregus, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Chicago.
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