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).
Jesus was amazed.
Read that passage from the scripture again, and then remind yourself who Jesus is. What on earth could possible have ‘amazed’ the one who was there since the beginning of the world?! And yet, the faith of this roman centurion amazed Jesus so much so that he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
This is one of many healings that occur throughout the Gospels where Jesus restores blindness, heals paralytics, cures lepers, and even raises people from the dead. And yet, this healing stands apart in a particular way because the words of the centurion are repeated every single day in the liturgy: “Lord ... I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.” Up to this point, Jesus had been ministering to a primarily Jewish audience. The Jews were eager for a Messiah because they thought he would free them from the oppressive government of the Romans. To the Jews, the Romans were the enemies. In our Gospel today, Jesus not only heals the servant of a man, but he heals the servant of a man who represents the enemies of Israel. You can almost hear his followers say, “Jesus, you’re not supposed to help the Romans, you’re supposed to help us be free of them!” And yet, Jesus’ ministry and healing and kingdom are not just for the few insiders, but rather goes beyond our imagining to embrace everybody.
What amazes Jesus in this passage is the incredible trust of this man. Instead of having Jesus visit him, he knows that if Jesus only says the word from a distance his servant will be healed! What incredible boldness! Jesus doesn’t even need to touch the man to heal him; the centurion knows this and invites Jesus to heal the servant from afar.
There are times in my life where I’ve lacked this boldness and forgotten to trust Jesus to heal me. Maybe there wasn’t a physical distance between me and Jesus, but there are other ways I could be bold enough to ask Jesus to heal me ‘from afar’. Those pesky, routine sins that we can’t seem to get rid of - do we boldly and expect Jesus to heal us from them right away, or do you say “sometime later in life when I’m older, more put together, more disciplined; then Jesus will heal me.” When we pray for those of our friends and family who are far from God, do we pray boldly with great faith and expect that God can reach them and change their hearts immediately, or do we accept that they’re on a long journey and maybe, just maybe someday eventually God will reach them? Are we willing to be like to centurion and place our trust in Jesus even when we don’t yet see the evidence of his work in our lives? Are we willing to have the kind of bold trust and faith in which Jesus will be amazed?
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.
Where do you need to be more bold in your faith? How can you be more like the centurion?
Do you trust Jesus to heal you from afar?
Do you trust that Jesus is working in your life?
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, I want my faith to amaze you."
"Lord I need you."
"Help me to be bold."
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?
During the month of September, we ask that each day, for the Action step of our lectio divina, everyone prays a Divine Mercy Chaplet together for the healing of all victims of clerical abuse of any kind as well as for the healing and guidance of our Church.
For more information on why we are doing this or how to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, click here.
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Today's Prayer was prepared by Chris O'Hara, an evangelist in Canada.
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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