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).
When it comes to showing up for work, school, events, and Church activities in our lives, there are typically three different possible responses people can make. The first type of response are those who show up on time. They don’t hit the snooze button on the alarm, they get the car warmed up early, and they always make sure there is some time to spare. These individuals are prompt and ready to meet the day’s responsibilities. The second type of response is a little bit different. These responses are usually a little bit behind the ball. They procrastinate, attention is often turned to things that distract and their focus is misdirected, these people can often be late and a little less enthused about the task at hand. The last type of response are those who simply don’t even show up. Without a doubt, each one of us can share in a mix of these responses throughout our daily lives.
In the Gospel today, we are told the landowner, God, is hiring laborers and in turn paying them for their service. He wasn’t concerned about whether people were prompt or late, worked long or short hours, regardless, He generously paid those who showed up and accepted the invitation to work.
Through Baptism we have become God’s laborers; through Confirmation, frequent Confession, and the Holy Eucharist we have received the continual graces to become God’s best laborers. God is continually pouring out graces for us to live holy and labor faith-sharing lives all for the growth of His Kingdom. The question becomes... “Do we show up?”
With this in mind, the vision of God is not so much focused on whether we are always prompt or habitually late or laboring more or less than others, we don’t receive from God because of our merits, but simply from whether or not we show up at all. Apply this principle to several things in your relationship with God. Am I showing up for prayer daily? Am I showing up for Mass every Sunday? Am I showing up for confession when I need God’s mercy? Am I showing up as a Catholic on the streets, in the school, at my workplace, and even in my home?
God is always faithful and dispenses graces to those who show up, it carries no weight whether we work the morning shift or the afternoon. The transforming message for us is this: start with showing up; the timing, enthusiasm, and commitment God will help us work on.
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 showing up? For Mass? For prayer? For Confession?
How are you living your faith out in the world?
What are you doing to labor for God and His Kingdom?
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.
"You are generous, Lord."
"Here I am, Lord."
"The last shall be first."
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?
Show up. Be present to God in prayer, in Mass, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in your labors, and in all your conversations and encounters with others.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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