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).
Today’s Gospel reading is one of those that I hear often but each time it feels like a gut check: “No servant can serve two masters. He will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). When this reading was read at Mass, I always thought is said “manna” and meant earthly things, but when I read this I had to look up mammon. One definition is “a false object of worship and devotion” (Google).
Jesus is very clear with this teaching: we can only truly serve God or the objects we deem as idols here on earth, not both. I highly doubt many people today make a golden calf, or something similar, and worship that instead of God. No, today’s idols are much more subtle and sometimes harder to admit.
I could make an idol out of my work, spending way more time thinking and stressing over if I am doing everything right. Another idol could be school; studying to the point you lose sleep, don’t hang out with friends and family, and rationalize not praying or going to Mass because you have a lot you have to do. Netflix: spending HOURS binge watching certain shows to the point where nothing else gets done. An idol can be made out of anything: books, sports, friends, family, a significant other, money, material things, etc.
So when I look at my life, how can I be honest with myself and God as I examine what my idols are? This is something that each of us has to take to prayer, because none of the things listed above are inherently bad. I have to look at how I spend my time, talents, and money. I have to be able to pay my bills and eat, so some things are necessary (like working). But am I making a god out of those necessary things?
One way I try to keep myself in check is by doing a daily examen of consciousness. This is different than what we do before we go to Confession, because I look at the day through God’s eyes and see how God was working in my life. This is in addition to observing how I did and did not serve God that day. This is an abbreviated description of the Ignatian Spirituality Examen. If we consciously make an effort to point our hearts to God, then we will be able to see how we can use those things that could be idols to truly serve God.
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.
What other things have you made into idols? School? Relationships? Work?
Where are you spending your time, talent and money?
How are you called to serve God today? How can you point your heart to His?
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 will serve the Lord."
"I choose you Lord."
"The Lord God is my master."
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?
Tonight, do the daily examen of consciousness. If you have never done this before, you can learn more here.
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.