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).
“Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?” In his ministry, Christ always places primary emphasis on the interior disposition of the heart rather than the external or physical. We see in this story from the Gospel of Luke; He is more interested in offering forgiveness and interior healing than He is interested in offering physical healing (not to say He is not interested in physical healing, because he is). Yet in this passage, He only offers the physical healing as proof that he is capable of the interior healing, of forgiveness of sins, of offering an eternal hope that only the Divine can offer.
“Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'?” Perhaps this is because he knew of our human inclination to get fixated on the external. We want the big flashy sign: the golden letters in the sky or the ecstatic healing or miracle. And yes, sometimes those moments happen, but more often than not, they do not. Why? Because God became man. And the normal way He wants to encounter us is through our normal experiences of everyday life, not exclusively in the big flashy exciting moments of prayer.
This is precisely what Advent is about: taking time to focus on how to find our Human-God in our own humanity! He wants to be part of our everyday humdrum normal lives and daily routines. He wants to encounter us in the quiet of our hearts when we go to Him and acknowledge his love and presence for us despite us not “feeling” it at all like we do in the big flashy moments. When we got to Him and ask daily forgiveness for a sin we’ve just committed for the 5,000th time. Nothing delights Him more than to whisper, even if silently, “Your sins are forgiven.”
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.
Where in your life do you need Jesus to heal you?
What sins do you find yourself constantly struggling and battling against?
Where can you encounter Jesus?
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.
"Rise and walk."
"Your sins are forgiven."
"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?
Where in your life do you need to experience Jesus's healing. Examine your life, your routine, your strengths and weaknesses. Bring them to confession as soon as you can this week.
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 Austin Ashcraft, a graduate student in New Orleans.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.