Meditation J 3,7-15

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: The evening, it is already dark outside. The meeting scene can take place in the garden. A campfire is burning. See and hear the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Maybe Nicodemus was surprised, maybe dissatisfied with the words of Jesus. How did Jesus react? Maybe you are with them.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the desire to learn to know about Jesus

1. You must be born from above.

This phrase is translated in two ways: “to be born again” or “to be born from above”. The first understanding underlines the radical transformation of life resulting from trust in Jesus, and the second means that spiritual life is a gift from God, not something you can earn (see New Testament for Moderators, Vocatio, page 226, footnotes).

a) A radical change in life does not mean that you have to change your husband, wife, religion or leave your job. It refers rather to a change in the way of thinking, perceiving the world, their duties, their everyday life, other people and themselves. This change concerns finding the will of God in the reality in which you are now, asking yourself questions: why do I do something, what will be the greater good, which brings me closer to Christ? This change is based on trust. Think about what does it mean „ to be born above” in your life.

b) Spiritual life is a gift from God and you can not earn it.  Do we sometimes act in our lives as if we wanted to earn God’s love? Even more prayers, even more services, even more sacrifices for …. God loves you. If you are making something, it is only so that you can get to know God and get closer to him. He is with you. Did you have to do something to wake up today and get out of bed? I think not. This is one of the gifts you have already received. Look what other good things you have got from God today.

2. … that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

God wants us to experience his love and eternal life now. Eternal life is knowing God and his mercy. Meet Christ now to get to know him more.

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 J 20,11-18

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:

Garden – see what it looks like, what plants, flowers, trees grow. There is the tomb of Jesus. Around him stands Mary Magdalene and she weeps. Perhaps she is full of fear that her Lord was taken away in the grave, and she does not know where. At some point, Maria hears a voice, it seems like a friend. Someone asks her why she is crying. Maria does not recognize Jesus. Then Jesus says the name of Mary Magdalene. 

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for meeting Jesus the Risen Lord

1. Whom are you looking for?

Mary Magdalene cries because Jesus is not in the grave he was taken away. She does not know where to look for him, where she can find him. But Jesus is with her, he talks to her. However, she does not recognize him. Why is Maria Magdalena unable to meet her Lord? What bothers her, what prevents her from doing so?

Maybe it is anxiety, pain that has so deeply consumed her that she can not see anything more. Or maybe Jesus comes differently than she expects. Who is she looking for?

We sometimes experience our difficulties, confusion, weaknesses, we have our expectations that help or solution comes in a certain way. What is our openness to accepting surprising new situations? Does it sometimes happen with our faith, with looking for God in our lives, our everyday life? We seek and do not find, because God does not come the way we want. He comes just like Mary Magdalene – the way he wants. Remember: 

He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits form you to return to him and start over again.  (cf. exhortation Christus Vivit, The Holy Father Francis, point 1,2).

Who are you looking for? What kind of God are you looking for and who are you finding in your life?

  1. 2. Message.

Jesus makes Mary Magdalene an apostle, lets her go to people and declare that Jesus is alive. That was her mission, which she got from the Risen Christ.

Today, you are an apostole, you get a mission which is reflected in your daily life. What about Resurrection can you take into your life? What new light is throwing the Resurrection on your mission, your life?

3. Encounter.

Mary Magdalene finally recognizes Jesus. She hears her name and turns to Jesus. A meeting follows.

Now you can meet Jesus, maybe you will hear your name, or maybe you will make a gesture. Meet him as you can.

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 J 18,1-19,42

In Holy Week, I invite you to reflect on the Passion of the Lord according to the gospel of Saint. John, which will be read on Good Friday. It is a long text for one meditation. I suggest that, starting from today, you should consider a fragment of a passage every day or read slowly slowly word by word imagining the scenes described, as if you were participating in them. Also use footnotes, they are also important. When meditating, you can use the following punctuation.

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: Jesus before Pilate. Here is a trial that has the characteristics of a formal court hearing. However, it is not conducted properly, because the prosecutors are unable to give the reason for putting Jesus in court. More in the process, it comes to the paradoxical situation in which Jesus would have to say that the is accused of … See the place of this hearing where the governor sits Roman, where prosecutors and where Jesus is. Listen to the shouts of the crowd, Pilate’s questions to Jesus and Jesus’ answers. See what Jesus looks like. He can be very tired, sweaty, thirsty.

The image in meditation can change depending on the meditated fragment.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for getting to know Jesus and emphatizing with him

  1. Responsibility.

Jesus is led to Pilate, who condemns him to death. He is run by people who want Pilate to judge him according to their calculation, according to their measure. At the same time they consider themselves very god-fearing, so that they do not want to enter the headquarters. They prefer that someone else does what they are demanding, they want to have clean hands, they run away from responsibility. They can say: it was not me who gave the sentence to Jesus.

How is it in your life? You were supposed to do … I did not touch anything, I did not touch … I did not say it, I just asked myself … What responsibility do you carry for your actions, behavior, words?

  1. Anxiety and courage.

Listen to Pilate’s dialogue with Jesus. Jesus talks with everyone in the same way. He is calm, confident in his opinion and ready to bear the consequences. It does not mean that he has no fear in himself, some kind of disagreement about what is happening. He is, however, above all aware of the closeness of the Father, his love and the Father gives him courage.

Look at Jesus, see His fear and peace at the same time. What is your hope, an inner light that gives courage in dealing with difficult situations?

  1. Humiliation.

Feel Jesus’ emotions (internal feelings). Do not concentrate only on pain, blood and wounds. See how specific people, hands humiliate Jesus, rob off his clothes, how can a man humble himself, rob him and leave him naked. Perhaps Jesus needs your gaze with love and compassion. You can give it to him …

How do you show you show compassion and love for yourself, your loved one? What is your openness to understanding other people?

  1. Way of the Cross.

The beam that Jesus carried was probably a passerby, used for execution. It could be covered  by sweat, tears, other people’s blood. See how Jesus carries this beam of blood and try walk very slowly with him. See also how Jesus loses his strength. You can be Szymon from Cyrene.                                                

Jesus wants you to be with him. How can you help Him? Give him your presence.

How do you give your presence, mindfulness to your relatives, wife, husband, children, parents, people you meet?

  1. It happened.

There is no happy ending, Jesus dies. You can escape from terror, you can fasten and organize a funeral ceremony. You can also just be. If you have strength, be it. If you want to cry, then cry. If you want to hold Jesus’s hand, hold it. Above all, however, be like you can …

 

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 J 8,21-30

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 place where Jesus meets the Jews: maybe it’s a square in a city around which there are buildings, trees, maybe people are walking somewhere. Jesus once again announces his death. The gathered Jews, however, do not understand what Jesus says. Perhaps you can see the surprise on their faces, because they suspect even that Jesus wants to kill himself. Jesus begins to speak of himself as the Son of God. Listen to this dialogue. Be present in this scene.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I desire to believe and trust God more and more 

  1. Loneliness and misunderstanding.

Jesus meets people who have listened to him many times and seen him with their life and seen how Jesus have given testimony of God, but they still do not understand his words. Are the words of Jesus really so incomprehensible, or is there another reason that does not allow the Jews to understand him? What can this misunderstanding result from? Jesus does not live in solitude, he has friends, he meets people. You can live in the crowd but feel lonely, It is a difference to be among people and to live with others in full trust, strong emotional, spiritual and psychological ties. Jesus does not give in to despair, he does not ask why, he only warns against unbelief.

A. Look at Jesus’ loneliness, how he deals with it, what helps him, gives strength. Maybe you want to accompany Jesus, help him in difficult times, just as you can and feel.

B. Look at your life, your professions in life, meeting with incomprehension or moments of loneliness. How do you deal with these moments? What you need? Where do you get the strength to keep moving forward so that you do not hide in your pain?

  1. Trust and faith.

Finding Jesus is possible only through faith. At the end of dialogue in this pericope, Jews begin to believe in Jesus as the Son of God. What could have happened, what did Jesus say that the attitude of the Jews was changing? Or maybe what happened in the way of listening people, in their hearts, in looking at themselves, at Jesus, at others, in hearing Jesus that faith is beginning to grow in them?

A. Look at your attitude towards loved ones: what builds your trust, what is your openness to understanding the other, what builds closeness with others, what effort it requires from you.

B. How do you care for your faith in God? What specific activities do you undertake, which nurture your relationship with him and help in getting to know God and building trust more and more?

3.  Who are you?Meet Jesus and think about who he is for you. You can talk to him about it.

 

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 J 5,1-16

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 Lordthat all my intentionsand actions may be directed purelyto the praise and serviceof His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation:Jerusalem during a festival of the Jews. There is probably a huge crowd of people. Jesus also went up to Jerusalem at that time. In the city there is the Sheep Gate with a pool composed of two water reservoirs and five porticoes. Wonderful healing powers were attributed to this pool. So many invalids – paralyzed, blind and lame lay around it. There is also a man who has been ill for 38 years. Jesus notices him, approaches him and asks if he wants to be healthy. After a short conversation, the man gets up, takes his mat and walks away. Where are you in this scene?

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to meet Jesus and respond to His invitations

  1. Do you want to be made well?

This question is asking Jesus. It may seem unbelievable or ridiculous, everyone, who is sick wants to be healthy! It is worth noting that Jesus does not receive a direct answer to the question. Why? Because it can sometimes be convenient to be in a poor situation … What kind of benefits could a man have in this scene? One thing was certainly that he did not have to take any action, in addition to the constant attempt to get into the pool, which in a way became his way of life. Maybe it was a way to escape from life?

How is it in your life? What do you have the benefits of being ill (not so much literally, but it is about the situation you are not satisfied with or in which you feel unhappy)? How do you change your situation?

2. Stand up, take your mat and walk.

Jesus gives the invalid man a specific task to do. Here, Jesus already receives the answer: the sick person stands up, takes his mat and goes. You can say that he finally takes responsibility for his life.

This scene is an invitation to learn to respond to Jesus, the other person. Answer not automatically, but give yourself time to reflect, to recognize the path that you want to go further, to live a fuller life in God. Certainly, everyday prayer – a meeting with Jesus, helps us understand this. (see CCC 2725).

What is your answer to the invitation of Jesus? How do you answer Jesus in your daily activities?

3. … Jesus saw him …

The invalid spends 38 years at the pool, which is credited with healing power. However, he did not get a miracle, either small or spectacular. Why? Maybe he was looking for miracle not where he should be? Maybe not miraculous, but the meeting has healing power? Jesus notices the sick person, meets him, and the invalid interacts with Jesus. That is the meeting.

Now Jesus notices you, He go to you just as he went to the invalid. Let yourself meet 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)