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’s Gospel is powerful and profound. It tells the story of Bartimaeus, a blind beggar. I challenge you to place yourself in the historical context. During that time, those with physical ailments, like blindness, were viewed as afflicted due to the result of some type of sin, either their own sin or the sin of their family. Thus, sympathy was difficult to come by for the suffering as it likely came from a just God delivering punishment for sin.
Bartimaeus is begging for pity, not just from Jesus, but from Jesus ‘Son of David’. In his cry out, Bartimaeus is acknowledging the lineage of Jesus. That Jesus is the Messiah, one of the Davidic line. At this point in the Gospel, this is not fully revealed and is a courageous proclamation of faith in Christ’s full identity.
In crying out, Bartimaeus acknowledges the divinity of Jesus.
Recently I was able to take place in a prayer service for someone diagnosed with terminal cancer. She is a longtime friend and the news has been very difficult to process. During our prayer time, many acknowledged that God can bring about healing, that God can transform anything, that our God is bigger than cancer. At the same time we also acknowledged that our God could have a purpose with suffering and invited God to make His glory known in the way that He desired. Like Bartimaeus, we began by acknowledging God. Prayers of Adoration simply acknowledge God for who God is. I challenge you to spend some time today praying prayers of adoration. Using the various names of Jesus found in scripture is a great way to start a time of prayer in that way.
Returning to Bartimaeus, he ultimately is invited to come to Jesus. At this he throws his cloak aside and rushes to Jesus. As a beggar, his cloak is his only possession. It is his shelter from the weather, his only earthly source of comfort, and the closest thing he has to a home. As a blind man in a crowd, the chances of him finding his cloak again are slim. Bartimaeus literally throws all of his possessions aside in order to run to Jesus.
Reflect today on what you have in your life that you should cast aside to better go after Jesus.
When Bartimaeus encounter’s Jesus, Jesus asks “What do you want me to do for you?”. Here Bartimaeus makes a BIG ASK. “Master, I want to see.” The gift he sought acknowledge the worthiness of the giver. Anyone could have given him food, or shelter. Any person could have provided him community or employment. Only God could give him his sight.
James 4:3 says “You have not because you ask not.” We have a generous God who desires to give His children good things. Do your asks of God reflect how big our God is? Bartimaeus was unafraid to make the BIG ASK and two things happened. First, God was glorified by the ask for it acknowledged God’s power. The very ask was an act of Adoration. Secondly, he received his sight!
Today, take some time to dream big dreams with God and make big asks. Our God is capable of great things, not just in scripture, but also today.
Here is a text I received from the husband of the woman with cancer that we prayed with recently. “Friends, The Oncologist said yesterday that her tumors have shrunk so much that they could no longer be picked up on the PET scan! They will need to do CT scans to monitor them. In fact, one of the bone tumors is GONE! Unexpected! Amazing! Thank you for your continued prayers! Please Share this with others. Love y’all!”
Our God is capable of great things, let us live with the boldness of Bartemaues and make BIG ASKS of our might God.
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.
Pray: Pray prayers of Adoration, simply take some time to praise God for who he is. Using the names or titles of Jesus found in scripture is a great way to start this time of prayer.
Ask: What is an area of your life that might need a BIG ASK from God right now? Take some time in prayer to make a BIG ASK that only God in His greatness could fulfill.
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 asks “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Have pity on me”
“I want to see”
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?
Listen: Ask the Lord what a ‘cloak’ is in your life. What is something that you need to cast aside so you can better follow Jesus? Take a concrete step to cast it aside, even if it is just for the rest of this day.
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 Christopher Bartlett, Director of Leadership Formation at Ablaze Ministries.