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).
How many times have we heard of Jesus healing on the Sabbath? It is a theme that is repetitious in the Gospel of Luke; but why?
Often times the Pharisees get a bad rap - and rightly so - but their origins were once righteous. In the deepest of sufferings, Israel had lost everything that was a sign of God’s presence, they became oppressed once again under foreign countries, and God’s prophets had been silenced. In the midst of this darkness, the Pharisees emerged and encouraged everyone to turn back to God, because disobedience to the law is what got them into this mess in the first place.
Yet how sad is today’s reading? The Pharisees, who were once a beacon of light is Israel’s deepest wound, now cannot shed a light on He who has come to heal all wounds. They are so transfixed on the law that, unlike the man who was cured from his painful swelling, they will not allow their swollen hearts to be healed. The Pharisees are so worried about Jesus “working” on the Sabbath, but the irony is that there are no precepts for what constitutes “work” in the law. Why? Because man was not created to serve the Sabbath, but rather the Sabbath was created for the sake of serving the needs of man.
Let us take a moment and pause to reflect on this question - how do I honor the day of rest?
I will be the first to admit that I do not do a good job. If anything, I find myself procrastinating from work, putting off my chores, and sometimes cramming in errands on Sunday. What I have come to realize is that we do need rest. There is always going to be stuff to do and places to be, but the times when I intentionally use my Sunday for reading, spending time outside, engaging in good conversation, cooking a good meal, enjoying a hobby, entering into prayer, etc., those are the times when I truly feel restored.
So why does Jesus, on so many occasions, heal people on the Sabbath? Because he is teaching us something about what the day of rest is meant to be – it is a day where we lay down our burdens and find healing from the week in our rest and in our leisure.
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 does your Sunday usually look like? Does it have time of rest, leisure, and focusing on the Lord?
Why does God want you to rest on the Sabbath? How does He work in your life in rest?
How can you do a better job of using Sundays to focus on the Lord and the rest He desires for 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.
"I find rest in You."
"I long for You, oh Lord."
"Help me to encounter 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?
Look at your plan for Sunday - how will you rest for the Sabbath? How will you focus on the leisure and the rest that allows you to encounter God and focus on what the day is truly for?
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 Mike Monette, a theology teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in Orange County, CA.