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).
We hear the words during Mass, "Only say the word and my soul shall be healed." I have to admit that as a kid, I would always pause and think to myself, "I wonder what that word is?" Like, which word would heal the soul? And why don't they just say which word it is!
But the story of this Gospel and the story of that phrase is so much more than a word. It's not about which word exactly, but THE WORD. The Word of God-Jesus. It's all about Jesus.
We enter this Gospel, and we hear about the Roman Soldier's servant who is very ill, and he approaches Jesus and asks him to heal his servant. What strikes me is Jesus' response to the centurion. Now the soldiers of this time were not followers of Jesus and in reality, this soldier probably had a pagan upbringing. Yet, the reaction of Jesus is immediate. He wants to heal the servant. He responds to the desire of the human heart. He almost leaps at the opportunity to heal. He says that he will come and cure him. How beautiful. The Lord responds immediately to our needs. It reminded me of those times at the grocery store or school when you see someone, very obviously, struggling to the open the door. Perhaps they had a huge load of groceries or a big project. Usually people lunge towards those situations and offer to help by opening the door or catching a fallen item. It's almost a natural human reaction. When we see someone struggling, there is something within us that longs to help them. So if this how humans react to something as small as falling grocery bags, how much more does God want to help us!
And the story doesn't end with Jesus traveling to the home of the servant to heal him. The solider says, "I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." Whoa. That's bold, Mr. Centurion Man. How amazing that this Roman guard knew the power of the Word of God. As an officer, he would give a command and it would be carried out. He believed that Jesus' word could do the same thing. Jesus' reaction is that of amazement. There are very few instances in the Bible where Jesus is amazed. This Roman solider is probably one of the most unlikely characters to amaze Jesus. But he has a total trust in the power of God. That merely the word of Jesus can heal the sick. What faith! What boldness! Jesus is amazed by the faith of this man.
Lord, I desire the faith of the centurion. To believe that you not only want to help me, but that you will help me. That your word is powerful, and it can move mountains in my life. Remind me daily that you want to help. You are lunging towards me at every moment of my life. Your response is immediate. You will help me catch the grocery bags of my life and you will open the door for me.
Say the word to me today Jesus. Speak your Word in my life.
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 is something that is going on in your life that you need God's help with?
Do you trust that God wants to and always will help you?
How can you invite the Word, Jesus Christ, into your life so that He can help and heal you?
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.
"Lord, I need You."
"Lord, heal me."
"Jesus, I trust in You."
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?
Take time in prayer to offer all that burdens you to God. Invite Him into your life and allow Him to respond to the needs in your life.
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 Megan Kramer, a parishioner at St. Mary's Parish in Huntley, IL.