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: Jerusalem during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. It is winter time, the air temperature can oscillate around 10 degrees C. During this time Jesus is there. He walks around the temple and talks to Jews.
Ask for the fruit of meditation: desire for closeness with Jesus
How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.
The Jews accuse Jesus of keeping them in suspense, they need another confirmation from Jesus that he is their long-awaited Messiah. Jesus answers them: I told you, and you do not believe. Both the insecurity of the Jews and their faith seem to be independent of the confirmations and signs of Jesus. Perhaps faith does not rule out uncertainty, and it too has a right to arise. It is only important what I do with her, what I will deal with more in my life: uncertainty or faith? Faith is an act of the will, a conscious choice of man (cf. CCC 142-185). The more I get to know someone, the more I start to trust, believe and feel safe in the presence of another person. Each meeting, even the difficult one, builds closeness and each meeting begins with the meeting of the eyes of two people. The same is true of our relationship with God.
How do you maintain of your relationship with God? How do you meet him? How does your gaze meet God’s gaze?
My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.
Jesus knows his sheep, he knows you and me. We get to know someone also by listening. So, another important factor of meeting, apart from looking, is listening. Jesus listens to you: what you say, what you feel, what you experience. He listens to what you may not say verbally, but you communicate with your behavior. It’s a very intimate relationship. Also, sheep’s relationship with Jesus is based on listening. Sheep are obedient to Jesus. Obedience can be interpreted as clinging to the message heard what Jesus says. Therefore, the relationship with him is based on listening, which creates mutual trust, not fear of punishment that I did not do something, that I was not good enough. It is a relationship of love, acceptance. Jesus knows you, listens to and hears you. What do these words cause (what feelings and thoughts) in you? How do you listen to Jesus?
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
Jesus gives us eternal life, from the earlier pericope we also know that he gives life abundantly for us. So, we are invited to feast, to experience joy and experience the fullness of life. We can experience life only now, at this moment. Worrying about tomorrow or thinking about the past deprives us of the possibility of being here and now. Only now is the moment you can taste. The apple eaten leaves a memory, the apple you want to eat raises expectations for taste. You can taste, smell, touch the apple only when you are eating it. Jesus also gives us security: nobody and nothing can tear us away from him. How do these words resonate in you? How do you experience your life here and now?
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)