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).
Wow, isn’t that something?! Some men went up to the roof of the place Jesus was in, moved around the tiles and lowered a paralyzed man on a stretcher down to Jesus just to be in the presence of the Lord because it was too crowded to come in through the door… Jesus saw him and forgave his sins right then and there. As if that’s not enough, which is wasn’t for the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus told the PARALYZED man to grab his stretcher and leave, which he did. “We have seen incredible things today” kind of sounds like an understatement.
Where are you in this reading? Are you seeing this from Jesus’s perspective? Are you the paralyzed man? Are you the men lowering the paralyzed man down to Jesus? Are you in the crowd that made it in through the door to be in the presence of the Lord? Are you one of the scribes or Pharisees? Are you not in this specific scene but later hear about or see the once-paralyzed man walking around? Where are you in this reading? Take a moment to read it again to understand what perspective you are reading today's Gospel through.
Each part of this reading is important and significant from every perspective you may have read this in. Read it again but choose to read it from a different perspective this time.
I just went back and read it from a person in the crowd’s perspective and I was blown away by the whole situation again! Sometimes I think we forget that the details about Jesus’ life in the Bible are real situations that happened. Maybe, as a member in the crowd, I woke up that morning like any other, ate my breakfast, and just as I was finishing, a neighbor came by my house to tell me that a man named Jesus that was in town and wondering if I wanted to go with to see him. I thought of everything I planned on getting done that day and hesitated before saying “yeah, sure, I guess”. After the whole situation with Jesus and the paralyzed man, I must have been really excited that I decided to come, to say the least.
The scriptures are real! The stories are snapshots or summaries of Jesus’ life, meaning that there are things that happened before and after what was written, not to mention there being much more detail than could ever be written about. The people in the stories are real too, meaning that they have thoughts, feelings and emotions. Just like we don’t live our day-to-day life anticipating what is significant about the day that might appear in a history book one day, the people in the bible were just living their life. Some people were really focused on fulfilling God’s will, some people were raising debates with Jesus or his disciples to defend and uphold the Law, some people were just in the ‘crowd’, etc., everyone was just living their life in the times that they were in. Isn't that something?
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.
Reread the story from the paralyzed man's perspective. What are you thinking or feeling? How has your life changed? If this really happened to you, how would your life change?
Reread the story from the scribes' or pharisees' perspective. What are you afraid of? What is holding you back?
Reread the story from the crowd's perspective. Are you a bystander? What is holding you back from participating?
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.
“We have seen incredible things today.”
“As for you, your sins are forgiven.”
“I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
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 Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, think about other people's perspective has you are talking to them. Try to look at things from their view and show them the compassion that Jesus would have showed them. Don't just watch the story unfold, today be an active participant.
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 Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.