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).
Often times we believe that parables are simplifications of Jesus’ teachings, but the truth is they are actually meant to be difficult to understand. They are meant to draw us in and have many layers. Today’s reading is no different.
Jesus tells us the parable of a man going away on a journey and entrusted to three servants a certain number of talents. While two gave a return on investment, the third simply gave back what was originally given to him and is thrown outside into the darkness where there is wailing and grinding of teeth – whoa!
At first, this passage can seem like a gut check. I personally get uncomfortable when Jesus starts talking about hell and people going there, but that’s the point. It’s supposed to make us cringe a little. It’s supposed to make us feel uncomfortable, because it’s a reminder of what a life apart from God is like.
The time the master goes on the journey represents the time we have here on earth, the servants represents us, the talents represents the abilities God has given us, and the return on investment represents what we have done with our God-given abilities to advance the kingdom of Heaven here on earth. So why such a harsh punishment to the last servant for at least returning what was given?
We each have our own set of unique abilities and talents that are given to us by God. Some of us are gifted with writing, leadership, creativity and the list goes on and on. It is easy to look at those around me and begin to compare myself. I begin to see the gifts others have as more rewarding than mine, I think the abilities others have will bring more joy than mine, I believe the talents of others will make them happier than mine. Comparison robs us of our joy.
The last servant saw the others as having more talents then him. Instead of rejoicing in the gift that he had and using it to the best of his ability, even if in his eyes it was so little, he became envious and resentful. He let fear into his heart, believing that he was not as good as the others and began to despise his master. He let comparison rob him of his joy while the others shared in their master’s joy.
Let us go forth this day calling to mind all of the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given us to further his kingdom here on earth. Do not let your comparison to others rob you of your joy, but be grateful in knowing that God has given to you according to your ability.
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.
Have you ever been jealous or envious of someone else's gifts and talents? Why? How did that affect you?
How can focusing on other's talents take away from the gifts and talents you have been given?
What are your gifts and talents?
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."
"I give it all to you, Lord."
"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?
Make an action plan to live out your gifts and talents. It is good to work on improving your weaknesses, but today, focus on highlighting your strengths. Don't let improving your flaws hide your gifts.
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, Theology Teacher at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA