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).
In high school, I loved loved loved languages, specifically, attempting to learn other languages. One of which I actually despised though was Latin. I could never seem to get a grasp on it, and it always frustrated me that we were learning a language that people did not even actually speak to each other anymore! (Joke was on me – this was before I knew about the whole being a major language of the Church thing). At any rate, as painful as it was, there was always one phrase that stuck out in my memory, mostly because it was just really fun to say: dare qui que suum. Translation: “to give each man his due.”
To give someone their due is to give them what is rightfully owed to them. In today’s readings, the Scriptures are talking a lot about giving God His due. The responsorial psalm tells us to consider what the Lord has done for us and praise Him. In the Gospel, Jesus tells the story of the scribes and townspeople giving their monetary due in the synagogue. Our first reading is of no exception as well. Tobit is an awesome book in the Bible, one of my favorites, basically outlining the daily life of a Jewish family. It is a really simple book, one which focuses on how to worship God. In this reading, the Archangel Raphael is telling them how to give God His due and what that means.
When it comes down to it, what else could we give the God of the universe, the one who has given us life and ennobles us in dignity, than all the praise, honor, and glory we have? Raphael tells Tobit and Tobiah to “Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory…acknowledge the many good things he has done for you.” God, the Author of Life, looks for nothing but our all because He has given His all freely to us.
Notice though, that in both the Gospel and the first reading, it is not necessarily just about what you give, but how you give it. Raphael tells us that “a little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness.” Translation: give God praise, honor, and glory, but do it above all for love of Him! That is the heart of giving God His due praise and what it all comes back to: do we give God praise, honor, and glory, simply out of love for Him?
In the end, God loves us freely and completely, and the beauty of our faith is that we have the capacity to respond back to Him with love of our own!
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.
Do you give God the praise, honor and glory that is due to Him? How do you think you can do that better today?
How can you be more generous, especially if you don't have a lot of money or possessions?
How can you be sure to give for the right reasons? How can you keep your eyes focused on Christ?
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.
"All I have is Yours Lord."
"Give us clean hands and pure hearts."
"All Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit."
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?
Give God praise today. If you are musically talented, play some praise songs. If you are not, then listen to some praise songs and give Him your voice anyways! Praise and worship does not have to be your favorite mode of prayer, but it is important for us to remember to praise God.
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 Matthew Maxwell, a graduate of Franciscan University and currently working as a Youth Minister in St. Louis.