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 Jesus saw their faith, He said to him, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven.’"
When Jesus saw their faith, not the faith of the paralyzed man himself but the faith of his friends. Here in the very beginning of the Gospel of Mark, we get this beautiful testament to the power of friendship and of the power of prayer. God is trying to teach us something very fundamental about our faith lives: they are not private. What I do affects other people. All of my actions, good and bad, private and public, affect everyone around me. We are mostly oblivious to the effects that our choices and decisions have on those around us and even those on the opposite side of the world who we will never meet.
We will never fully understand the impacts of our lives until the next life, but it is a wild thing to think about. How can one little prayer I offer during my 30 minutes of homework help a grandmother in Myanmar in her hour of death? We have no idea! But it is thrilling to ponder. I can offer up different parts of my day for my friends and family and for total strangers- from normal daily activities like driving or studying or cleaning or working out to more intentional prayer and sacrifices and fasting. And the effects of offering these things up is far greater than I could ever begin to comprehend, and I can only believe it to be so through the eyes of faith.
“When Jesus saw their faith…” This is one of the most beautiful parts of our Catholic faith: the communion of saints. Unfortunately when we hear those words we just think about saints in heaven, and forget about the reality of the communion of saints here and now on Earth. The faith of these four men saved their friend. Is my faith passionate and alive enough to save my friends? Am I purposefully praying for my friends and for others and offering daily activities and small sacrifices and fasts for them so that they might know the love of Christ in a more real way? When I complain about friends or other people not living their faith, am I praying for them 10 times more than I am complaining about them? Am I doing anything to lift their mats and lower them in through the roof to see Jesus? If not, perhaps I should shut up and do that.
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.
How do your actions affect the people around you? How do you see what power you have to influence others?
How are you making the love of Christ present to others?
How can you purposely pray for others more?
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.
"Jesus saw their faith."
"What I do affects others."
"Help me share my faith."
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?
How can you be like the friends that brought their friends from Jesus? How can you share the gospel with someone today? Or how can you pray more for your friends today?
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Today's prayer was prepared by Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans. 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.
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