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).
What should I offer God? What kind of sacrifice would be pleasing to Him? How many times should I sacrifice something a day? How might I pay back what I owe to Christ?
First of all, you could never “pay back” Jesus for the price he paid for you. No gift is great enough, no sacrifice is hard enough, and no frequency is high enough to even come close to equating to the passion and death of our Lord. All of those offerings in the passage might sound impressive, and I’m sure you could think up numerous examples of “modern” sacrifices that are just as impressive, but what good are they to God?
God doesn’t need anything from us. What is God going to do with thousands of rams with myriad streams of oil anyways? Sacrifices are pointless if they are done for the wrong reasons. That is why God is asking us “only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with [Him]”. Ultimately, God wants us to love and everything else should flow from that. Therefore, when we offer sacrifices, they need to be out of selfless love.
Offering sacrifices is a beautiful act of love and excellent form of prayer! The extent of graces and blessings that stem from sacrifices is unimaginable. Even with that perception, personally, I am not very bold when it comes to offering sacrifices. Though I must admit that something placed on my heart in this very moment is that God would be very pleased if I (and we) offered more sacrifices daily.
Notice and create opportunities to offer something as a sacrifice, and trust that God will provide you the necessary strength for it. Don’t worry about how “impressive” your sacrifices are; just offer what you honestly feel is best for you in the given moment (which may change frequently!). If what we’re offering in the moment comes from a place of pure love, the magnitude of graces and blessings that spring forth from it will be incredibly great regardless of how big or small the sacrifice itself seems to be.
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 often do you sacrifice? Do you sacrifice frequently? What do you think is the point of sacrificing?
How can you sacrifice more often to the Lord? Can you make sacrifice a regular part of your prayer life?
What are you being called to sacrifice for the Lord?
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, I give it to you."
"I offer this up."
"For you Lord I make this sacrifice."
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?
What today can you offer to the Lord as a sacrifice? Make a small sacrifice today for the Lord, and decide how you can make more sacrifices on a regular basis.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Katie LoBosco, a student at the University of Dayton studying Music Therapy.
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