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 today’s gospel, we hear a famous phrase: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” Let’s break apart what this would have meant to the first-century Jews to whom Jesus was speaking.
When Jesus said “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” he was referring to the coin in the Pharisees’ hands, which actually belonged to the government of Caesar: it was issued by Caesar, had his face on it, and was used to collect taxes from all under his authority. For the first century Jews, Caesar had dominion over the things of the world.
But then, Jesus made a somewhat cryptic statement: give to God what is God’s. In the book of Genesis, we read that God made man in His image: each person was created by God and belongs to Him. So in the same way that the coin is made in the image of Caesar and falls under Caesar’s authority, each beloved child of God is made in the image of God and belongs to the Kingdom of Heaven, first and foremost.
So when Jesus says give to God what is God’s, he is talking about you.
Today, Jesus calls you to give yourself to God: all your heart, your mind, your soul, your strength. When you give your heart completely to other things, the things of this world, whether it’s school, music, our friends, our hobbies, our political beliefs, or even creating the perfect TicTok, we will never truly be satisfied.
It has been said that Christians live in the world, but not of the world. We have to give to Caesar what belongs to him: we’re responsible for living well in the world, fulfilling our responsibilities, creating a just society, serving those in need, and building up the common good. But ultimately, we don’t belong to this world: we belong to God’s world, the Kingdom of Heaven, and by giving him our whole hearts every day, we get a taste of that Kingdom even here on earth.
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.
Are you giving to God what is God's?
How will you serve the Lord today?
How will you live not in the world today?
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.
"Give to God what is God's."
"Serve the Lord."
"Be not of the world."
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?
Today, what is one way you can detach from the world? What is one day you can serve the Lord?
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 Becca O’Hara, who loves Jesus and lives with her husband Chris in Halifax, Canada, where they both work for the Church.
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.