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 much are you giving to God? We hear that the widow in today’s Gospel gave the most out to the treasury, even though it was the smallest amount. Does that mean that we don’t have to give that much money to the Church?
No, that’s not really what it means. The reason the widow gave more is that it was all she had; she gave everything to God. That’s what Jesus is trying to teach us in this Gospel passage. The amount we give is not the important part, but how much it means to us that is the key.
When it comes to tithing, I always discounted it because I was in high school, then college, and always felt like I had no money. But even in those stages of life, God still calls us to give. We don’t always have to give financially (which you should give financially), but that’s not actually what I want to focus on.
We are called to give of our time, talents, and treasures to God. Most of the time when people talk about tithing or what they give to the Church, we focus on the finances. But how much of your talents are you giving to God? Or an even bigger question: how much of your time are you giving to God?
I once heard a priest talk about tithing your time similar to how we are called to tithe our money: 10% should go to the church. That seems like a steep challenge because 10% of a day is 2 hours and 24 minutes. In that time you could watch 6 episodes of a short show on Netflix, or a Harry Potter movie. There are a lot of things we can fill our days with, but how can we devote more time to what will truly bring us joy?
I want to say that I’m like the widow and give everything to God, but I don’t. I’m striving to that and work at, which is something we will all constantly work at the rest of our lives. One way to help carve out time in my day is by saying “I’m going to choose ________” over spending time in prayer. Obviously, if you are in school or work, those responsibilities can’t be completely pushed aside, but it is interesting to think about.
Ultimately we should give everything we have to God, without hesitation. However, most of us will need a lot of practice with this, meaning that is what it means to be striving for and growing in holiness.
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.
How much of your time are you giving to God?
How much of your talent are you giving to God?
How much of your treasure do you give to God?
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 give it all to you."
"Help me give more."
"Increase my giving."
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?
Advent is coming up. How can you increase your giving this advent? What is one way you can give more of your time? What is one way you can give of your talent? What is one way you can give of your treasure?
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 Kayla Essner, a high school Math teacher in Denver, CO.