Meditation Mt 23,23-26

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 intentionsand actions may be directed purely to the praise and serviceof His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: Imagine Pharisees who take care of all religious practices, go to temples for services, wash their hands after returning home so as not to get anything dirty, who point out the slightest mistake to other people. See the Pharisee’s house, maybe everything is perfect, perfectly arranged and clean like exhibits in a museum. On the other hand, notice their dishonesty, their bad motivations and intentions. See how they commit lies and cheats, how they conceal what they do wrong.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: return to the ask for the Grace, stay with it for a moment 

1.   … have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith

Think about what justice, being righteous, mercy, being merciful, faith and being a believer mean to you. How can you recognize that someone is just, merciful and believer? Think about what is most important to you, what values (list 3-4 values) do you follow in your life?

2.  For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Jesus speaks hard words to the Pharisees, shows them their hypocrisy, dishonesty, superficiality and excessive care for the external image. This is not Jesus’ attitude. The most important things happen inside the man, there are his motivations for action. If I help someone, I need to know why: whether to get praise, to be appreciated or because I want someone to be better, easier, I want to contribute to the creation of a greater good. The first action, i.e. taking care of your image (although this is important) is often based on anxiety, fear that I will fall out badly, what others will think about me. The second is on a purer desire to save the good of another human being. Both motivations can occur together, but notice which is the main driver of your action.Similarly, with religious practices – they are to flow from our relationship with God, they are an external sign of this relationship, it should bring me closer to God, that I have a feeling of growing bond with Him. How often we pray because we are afraid that we will commit a sin if we do not take care of prayer, or even worse – we will be punished for it. But can such motivation deepen our relationship with God?See what is behind your actions: fear or desire for greater good?

3. Look at yourself with God’s eyes, that is, with love and gentleness. The experience of love, being loved changes us, changes our motivations, changes our attitude towards ourselves and other people. Stay in this experience the way 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)

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