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).
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Matthew, one of the Twelve Apostles. In his very own Gospel, Matthew does not mince words in recollecting how Jesus called him into a new way of life. It seems as if Jesus did not even stop to talk with him, but rather Matthew got up and followed Him as He passed by. This is the power of the Word of the Lord, Who took flesh in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.
When Jesus entered into Matthew’s house to dine, He was entering into a place of reproach, which was abhorrent in the sight of the Pharisees, the Jewish religious authorities of the day. Matthew was a tax collector working for the Romans. These were men who were Jews themselves, yet they worked for the heathen and pagan Romans who occupied Israel under the iron fist of Caesar. Yet Jesus did not hesitate to enter into this house. He heard the murmuring of the Pharisees at His decision to eat with Matthew and the other sinners and responded as any doctor would. A doctor not only heals, but teaches.
Jesus is the Divine Physician. He came to those who were sick and He still comes to those who are sick, namely, us. We are all sick with the stain of the sin of Adam. It is by Baptism that we enter, so to speak, into the hospital of God. It is our responsibility to see the signs and seek the treatment. Just as we see commercials and advertisements again and again for some sort of medicine treating some illness, the grace of God calls us repeatedly to respond to the treatment He offers.
This is the mercy to which Jesus refers. He does not condemn sacrifice here, but rather He condemns sacrifice that does not include mercy. The Pharisees offered sacrifices according to the Law of Moses, often so that they would look more righteous than the sinners. Calvary shows us the Sacrifice of Mercy Himself, and the remedy that this Divine Physician offers to us, as once to Matthew, is to follow Him in His Word in the Scriptures and in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood at Holy Mass.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart.
How have you been made "sick" by sin? What areas in your life are in greatest need of healing?
How have you tried to "treat" or fix yourself without the Lord's help? How did that work out for you?
Pray to our Divine Physician. Tell Him what's wrong and ask Him for healing.
Spend time thanking the Lord for His mercy and healing.
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, You desire mercy, not sacrifice."
"I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."
"Divine Physician, heal me."
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?
As we accept Jesus' mercy, He calls us to do the same for others. Like Jesus did in the Gospel, how can you show mercy to others today who need the Divine Physician?
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 Kevin Poynton, graduate of the University of Dayton with a Degree in Religious Studies.
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