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).
Do you believe Jesus desires to heal you?
We hear questions like this all the time in homilies and talks and reflections. The question almost feels leading. Of course, we want to say “Yes.” Saying “yes” would be the holy response, and we are trying so hard to be holy. Yet, the answer might be a bit more complicated when we search our hearts.
The official who comes to Jesus has so much faith, he says “lay your hand on her, and she will live.” The suffering woman too, has total confidence in the healing Jesus can give, “if only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” In the space of a few lines of scripture, Jesus heals them both, making the whole thing look easy.
Then we turn to ourselves and see that the wounds in our life seem anything but easy. We’ve suffered with a sin we cannot shake, or a lingering doubt, or someone we cannot forgive. We don’t have the strength the woman in the gospel did to push through the crowd and find Jesus, or perhaps we feel alone and have no one like the official to bring Jesus to us.
Yet it’s what Jesus says to the crowd that gives me the most hope: “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” The crowd is lamenting and weeping and making a commotion, much like our minds and hearts do when we hit a low point. All those negative voices, all that hopelessness, all that struggle we have been going through, Jesus tells all of that to “Go away!” He sees what we don’t. We think we are dead, doomed to have these wounds forever. He knows that we are just sleeping, and when the time is right, he will wake us up. Jesus desires our healing. He is already moving toward us. He is the one who is holding our life.
Faith doesn’t have to be something we feel. It doesn’t have to be something that looks heroic to other people. It is a simple trust, even if we don’t trust fully yet, that yes, Jesus desires to heal you, and that he will heal you. Often it’s this quite little hope and little faith that Jesus smiles upon.
“Courage! Your faith has saved you.”
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 believe Jesus desires to heal you? Stop. Pray with it. Do you truly believe it?
In moments of pain and suffering where do you turn? How can you turn more to the Lord?
Where in your life do you need more courage to turn to Jesus?
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 wants to heal me."
"Jesus give me courage."
"Jesus increase me 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?
What is one area of your life where you are struggling? Today, take it to prayer and give it to Jesus with confidence that He can heal you.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. Sciarappa, priest for the diocese of Pittsburgh.