Meditation Mk 23,1-12

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: See Jesus among the crowds  and his disciples. Maybe you are there too. Maybe you all are in a square in the city. Take a look at all the characters, see buildings, streets, trees. Listen to what Jesus says about piety. How do the listeners react to Jesus’ words? How do you react?

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for a grace and thirst for a deep relationship with Jesus 

1. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.These words were said by Jesus. Notice, that Jesus does not say to reject everything they say, if they behave differently, they are hypocrites. Jesus rather encourages us to look at, consider and search for what is good for me, which words feed me, give me Life. He does not encourage us to judge and criticize others, even if they preach, but don’t practice. Does not it happen to you, that you say one thing, but do the other thing, that you chastise the child for something you do? Look at yourself: how is your life consistent with your behavior and the values you profess? In which spaces of your life, situations are easier for you, and in which it is more difficult to preserve the unity in your acts and your speech? Look further, deeper: what is the coherence between your emotions, feelings, heart and intellect? What can you do day-to-day to make more integration of all your living spaces?

2. Jesus speaks of the piety of the scribes and Pharisees.  About piety, that is about the external appearance of a relationship with God. Jesus accuses them of excessive attention to religious practices in relation to faith in the heart. And yet faith is not about being a theoretician of morality or a commentator of God’s Law. It is not needed for this. Nor it is the theathenai (compare Greek-Polish New Testament), or something like a performance in the theater, to win the applause of those who watch us, their admiration. Think about the piety of Jesus: how he behaved in the temples, during his prayer.

In this context, I also encourage you to reflect on your piety. How does the relationship between the outside sphere look like – the number of prayers and services, and the inner sphere – a deep relationship with God? What are your motivations in undertaking various religious practices, do you know why you kneel or sit during the prayer, why and how many religious symbols you wear (medallions, crosses, scapulars, rosaries)? What gives you participation in various retreats, and religious services: peace, new understanding, a greater desire for the closeness relation with Jesus or rather anxiety, fear? Jesus does not want you to widen (…) phylacteries and lengthen (…) tassels. What piety, then, is he about? What kind of relationship with  you do Jesus desire?

3. Jesus invites us to be servants one for another. To serve means to share with other gifts, that we have received: a smile, a good look, a word, listening … What today have you shared with others, how have you served others? What good things today did you meet (say it in details, eg: sun or rain, a telephone call from someone, not late for work …)? Thank Jesus for that.

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

 

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

 

Meditation Mt 6, 7-15

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: Probably the scene in which Jesus teaches the Lord’s Prayer takes place on the Mount of Beatitudes on the northern shore of the Lake of Gennesaret, near Capernaum. See the lake, the mountain, the mountainside overgrown with grass. Feel the smell of that air. Jesus is on this slope, and a crowd of people around him. Are you there? Listen to what Jesus says about prayer, how it should look, how he says the words Our Father ….

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for my desire to enter into a lively, intimate relationship with God 

1. Today’s text encourages us to reflect on our prayer. What place does it take in your life? What is it for you, what is its value? How does it look: how do you pray, how much time do you spent praying, what time do you pray, where? Does the way of prayer help you deepen your relationship with God? Why do you pray (you want to ask for favors, you want to meet God, you pray because of your fear of punishment)? How do you treat your prayer: is it not a coincidence of some kind of amulet, or a magic wand to solve all your problems; or is it a meeting of two people giving each other Love? Maybe today is the time to change something in your prayer, maybe it’s time for you to enter into a prayer that is not easy for you, maybe it’s time to find your quiet desert place to meet God …

2. In praying, do not babble like the pagans …

Prayer is the entrance to the most intimate encounter with your Creator, that’s why Jesus says not to be talkative. See, if in an intimate meeting with another person (which is not the same as an erotic meeting, but is something deeper, something that you constantly need to learn – I encourage you to reflect on what does the intimate relationship mean) is flowing from your lips many words? Is it rather a quiet whisper, silence, looking at each other, contemplating one another? God wants full unity with You, communion in Love. How do you respond to his desire? (Remember, however, that if you want to be able to enter into close relationships with others, with God, you first have to make friends with yourself, you have to get to know yourself, your feelings and desires.)

3. your will be done, on earth as in heaven …

God’s will is your salvation, your happiness, your life in deep joy. Joy, which is independent of the external situation, of your health, your finances. Note that God’s will continues to be fulfilled on earth and in heaven. So here and now you can experience a deep sense of happiness. What does your life with passion, for happiness look like? How can you change your thinking, patterns, to experience joy even more now, in Lent – after all, Jesus died on the Cross for your love and gave you his Resurrection?

4. When you will be praying Our Father at the end of this meditation, listen to your words. Speak them slowly with great care. Maybe you will feel, what word moves you particularly …

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

Meditation Mk 8,14-21

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: Imagine a boat on the lake. See how the boat looks like – its color, size, maybe if it sways. See how the lake looks like – its size, color, or the lake’s surface – is calm or there are waves. Jesus is in this boat with his disciples. There is also one loaf of bread. Disciples are worried that they forgot to take more bread. Jesus asks them, why they talk about the fact, that they have no bread. Listen to the whole conversation. Maybe you are in the boat with other participants of this event, maybe you are taking as an active part in the conversation.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: so that I would like and desire to see and get everything, what is the life-giving food for me

1. Bread and the leaven.

Disciples in the boat are talking about not having enough bread. They have taken only one loaf. All their attention is focused on the lack of bread. Could the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod not let them see Jesus – the only life-giving Bread? Although they are with Jesus and they listen to his teaching, it still seems, that their hearts are not open, their ears can’t hear, and their eyes can’t see,  they can only see their own leaven. So how can they see their abundance? Why is it easier to see them lack than what they have?
See what is your leaven? What kind of lack do think about, which influence your life, and also spiritual life? Try to discover your resources. What do they lead you to, what do you gain from them?

2. And do you not remember…?

Why does Jesus ask a question to his disciples: do you remember …? Maybe because remembering shared experiences, the time spent together, conversations, mutual self-giving, sharing gifts, lead to growing relationships, bringing people closer together. However, if you are able to remember, you must first be with someone, allow yourself to experience each other and share your life. There must be situations, in which the presence of another person is experienced. This experience, even if it is sometimes difficult, leads to a growth towards the fullness of life in God. Being with God allows you to experience Heaven today.
What is your being with God, with other people? What memories do you have that bring you closer to God, to other people? Sometimes we may have a tendency to take care of what separates us in our relationships, but what separates does not come from God. So, look for what connects you in relationships with others, what connects you in relation to God. Maybe it turns out that the relationship you wrote down for loss is to be saved?

3. Do you still not understand?

This is another question, that Jesus asks his disciples. Is it not an expression of Jesus’ concern, his desire that his disciples understand what he gives them, his Love? What are you doing to understand Jesus? After all, the relationship with him is mutual. Not only you can expect understanding from Jesus, but also he from you.

Open your heart, eyes and ears and ask Jesus to help you understand what you do not understand or accept, what is difficult to understand to you. If you want, you can talk about it with Jesus.

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

 

Meditation Mk 7,1-13

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: At the time when the Pharisees and some scribes came around Jesus from Jerusalem, his disciples were eating unwashed food. Probably they were at home (see how it looks), that they  returned from the marketplace, where it was easy to come across unclean things and according to the religion rituals in Israel, after coming home it was necessary to do the ritual of washing hands. But they did not do it. Look, you may feel some surprise connected with the outrage of the Pharisees in connection with this event. Listen to the conversation between the Pharisees and Jesus. You can find yourself in this scene.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I desire to direct in my life that, which brings me closer to God

1.The Pharisees created a religion full of prohibitions, orders, external signs that testify they are lawful. Perhaps they wanted to be perfect in their own and God’s eyes. However, their religion has become a religion of claims: I obey the commandments, standards, to gain something, to win something for themselves, to feel perfect. What’s more, they may have thought that they would be even better when they show the mistakes of others, when they caught others in weakness. What did their hearts have to be? Jesus calls the Pharisees: hypocrites. Jesus shows them their duplicity. He wants to tell them that maybe life is not about creating more and more bans, that do not lead to the fullness of life in God, which give a temporary apparent sense of good feeling of executing their duties, that make people enslaved by the letter of law, that they are really destructive to their life. What is important in life? What and why am I going?
Perhaps, like the Pharisees, is it happening in our lives now? Refer to your interior, your everyday life.

2. This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…

If the lips are doing something other than the heart is saying, then it seems that we are far from the purity of the intent. It means that there is a hidden agenda. What is kind of it? What does it give me? It is not easy to follow a pure intention in life, the Highest Good, because we have our wounds, emotions, feelings, our hormonal economy or different diseases that can also make it difficult. Perhaps the biggest difficulty is that we put ourselves in the center instead of Christ. Maybe many conversations, the relationship would look different, if we would able to see that Jesus lives in another man. Just like in me and in you. Perhaps then, there would be fewer misunderstandings and ambiguous situations in our life.
What can you do to make your life more purely intentionally, to move your eyes to Christ even more often? What place do you have for another person in yourself? How can you increase space in yourself to receive a second person as a God’s gift? 

3. Everything is good, tradition too, if it serves our growth, brings us closer to Jesus. If it is not a dead letter of the law, if it is not a bending of God’s commandments for one’s own needs. It is worth taking care of and sometimes even fighting for the heart to be alive and to give life. Ignatius Loyola tells us the principle: so much as. That is, we should desire and choose and use things in so far as they lead me to the Goal. Cling to Jesus and ask him to desire the life-giving food that he gives you, his Love. Thank for that and think with Jesus about how you can share with others what you receive from him.

4. Perhaps today in the context of this reflection and the approaching Lent, think about your Lenten provision, if you want. What will allow you to get closer to God – this is the purpose of making Lenten resolutions: maybe reading a book, drinking coffee/ tea with someone who has been waiting for it for a long time, maybe showing more tenderness to your husband or your wife, maybe considering the Passion through reading the Gospel?

 

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar,such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)