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).
This is a refreshingly confusing parable. So often, when we begin to hear one of Jesus’s parables at Mass, we make a mistake thinking that we already know what it means. We hear about the sower of seeds, the vine and the branches, the shepherd and the stray sheep and we begin to zone out because we’ve heard them so many times before and we think we understand it completely. Yet these seemingly simple stories contain endless spiritual realities. Even if we grasp them on an intellectual level, they still have the power to feed and convert our hearts if we really listen. The parable of the unrighteous steward, however, tends to fight back against our prideful tendency to think “Yes, I know, I’ve heard this one before.” The master praises the dishonest steward. Jesus says to make friends with dishonest wealth. None of this makes sense!
The steward has control of his master’s goods. He can distribute them as he pleases. He is supposed to do this well, thinking first of his master’s desires, but instead, he has “squandered” them. Knowing that he will soon be fired, he lets his master’s debtors off the hook. Now, when he gets fired, he will have friends who owe him. The master sees how clever this is and praises him. What does this mean for us?
Nothing we have in this life is truly ours. Everything is a gift from God. Yet, how often do we squander these gifts and think only of ourselves? When our time comes, we will be judged for how we used these gifts. But the Lord shows us that there is a way to make up for our misuse of His goods: we must forgive others. Mercy is how we best imitate God’s love for us. So often we keep grudges because we think that people owe us. But how can people owe us if nothing we have is really ours. If we are merciful and forgive our debts, the mercy we show to others will be shown to us at the judgment. Dishonest and worldly people are often good at playing the games of the world. We must become wise in the art of mercy. Then, our praise from God won’t be some ironic compliment from “getting one over on him” but that we actually were good stewards of God’s gifts by showing mercy to others. The reward won’t be simple comfort in this life, but eternal joy in the life to come.
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.
Who do you need to forgive today and why?
How can you work on being more merciful in your everyday life?
Can you be truly selfless and merciful? How can you strive to be more like that 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.
"Lord, Have Mercy."
"Christ, Have Mercy."
"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?
Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet today. Ask for God to have mercy on you, but also that you may learn to be merciful to others.
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Today’s Prayer was prepared by Fr. Anthony Sciarappa who was ordained in 2016 and is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
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