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 the Gospel scene of Jesus’ meeting with the Pharisees or see your meeting place and your meeting with Jesus.
Ask for the fruit of meditation: about an encounter inside me- in my sanctuary, where I am. Alone with God whose voice echoes in my depths. (CCC 1776)
The outside and the inside.
Jesus quite strongly accuses the Pharisee of taking care of the outside of his life and neglecting his interior. Probably the Pharisee was overly concerned about what Jesus called the outside of the cup. The whole envelope of his behavior, too much care for his image, about religious practices could create the illusion of a good life for the Pharisee and distract him from what is more important: his motivation, desires, what is happening inside him.
Take a look at your exterior: your gestures, your behavior. Ask yourself what they are for, and what their effects are seem in your daily life. They may be good and necessary. Sometimes they are an expression of what is internal, sometimes they are the beginning of internal changes.
Look at your inner side: your thoughts, desires, which are a kind of strength, energy that moves us to Life. God can come to us in our desires. It is important to read them, what they say to me, what they say about me. We get to know ourselves through our desires. Look for your desires, do not run away from them, see where they lead you to.
Remember that both the external and the internal is to lead you to the Fullness of Life in God here and now.
The Pharisee was amazed …
I suppose we could say that the Pharisee was disappointed in Jesus’ attitude because he did not fulfill his expectations: he did not wash his hands before eating. We like to have expectations both for ourselves and for God, and for other people. If they are not fulfilled, we feel frustrated and disappointed. But does the other person really have to fulfill them? Think about your expectations, what happens in you, if someone does not meet them, you do not meet them, what do they lead you to?
3. From A Pilgrim’s Journey, The Autobiography of Ignatius of Loyola (p.64,77) to your reflection:
He ate no meat, nor did he drink wine, though both were offered him. On Sundays he did not fast, and if someone gave him wine, he drank it. And because he had quite meticulous in caring for his hair, which was according to the fashion of the day – and he had a good crop of hair – he decided to let it grow naturally without combing, cutting, or covering it with anything either during the day or night. For the same reason he let the nails of his feet and hands grow, since he had also been overly neat with regard to them. (…) It was likewise in Manresa – where he stayed for almost a year, and after experiencing divine consolations and seeing the fruit that he was bringing forth in the souls he was helping – that he abandoned those extremes he had previously practiced and began to cut his nails and hair.
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)