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).
I went to confession yesterday and the priest told me to reflect on today's Gospel as my penance, and it really hit me in a new way. I mean I have heard this story at least 30 times, probably way more, and it always seemed like a nice story, but sort of unrelatable. I mean I thought that God likes it when we are thankful, then just moved on to the next story. Yesterday though, was different.
For the first time in my life, I saw my sin as leprosy. Sin is the disease that makes me unclean and disfigures my body and my soul. It causes anxiety and depression and selfishness and pride and more sin, etc. Sin is the disease that literally cast me out of the community like leprosy did, because I choose myself over God and others. The similarities go on and on. Maybe to some of you, this is obvious and you are shocked it took me 30 years to figure this out, but legit, this changed my whole worldview today.
So if sin is like leprosy, then we need to go to the priests to be healed from it as well, just like the lepers in today's Gospel were instructed to do. And here is where my life got shook. My whole life I have gone to confession and carried on with my life, a little lighter and more joyful, but kind of nonchalant. I was thankful, but not "run back to Jesus and fall at His feet" thankful. Something clicked this time and my thanks was more sincere and deep. The healing of my soul is just as real and miraculous as the healing of leprosy, I just can't see it as obviously.
And even more than this, Jesus says to the one who ran back, "stand up and go; your faith has saved you." I pondered this line for awhile. I kept thinking, no God, You saved me, I literally did nothing. And while that is completely true, God also saved all 10 of those lepers from leprosy and all of us from sin, yet some people are still sick with sin. So why is that one different; why am I different today? Because of faith. My faith - which is merely a response to the love of God which is truly unconditional - is the difference. God's love, God's grace, is there for all of us everyday, but do we open our hearts to receive it and do we humbly respond to that love and grace by falling at Jesus' feet to thank and worship Him. That's honestly the difference. It's nothing of our own merit or effort, just a humble, sincere, thankful response to what God unconditional gives us every moment of every day.
I know that's a lot, but I honestly believe if we take that to heart everyday, it can be life changing. We can be saved from this leprosy of our souls which we call sin. And the only proper response, the response that saves us eternally, is to fall at His feet and thank Him for loving us.
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 let yourself receive God's loving mercy and grace through reconciliation?
How can you be more thankful to God for this amazing healing He freely gives us?
Are you one of the 9 who takes this miracle for granted or are you the 1 who falls at the feet of Jesus? How can you be more like the 1 each and every day?
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.
"Thank You Jesus."
"Heal me Lord."
"Here's my heart Lord."
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 a look at your sin as leprosy on your soul. Run to the priests to be cleansed as the lepers did. Then truly come back to Jesus' feet and be thankful for the miracle He has given you.
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 Sean Norris, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.
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