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Mk 2:23-28

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 is passing with his disciples through a field of grain. Maybe they are talking together. During this journey, his disciples are picking the heads of grain.

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

 

1.The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.

Sometimes we forget about what we have received from God is to help us grow, so we often treat it as a burden. It happens when we treat faith as the letter of the law, i.e. very prescribed, strictly, restrictively, when we respect all commandments as a superior value. The Gospel Sabbath can change our thinking when we start to see our faith more as a relationship with God. This does not mean, of course, that regulations, rituals, and commandments are omitted by us, but that our faith is based more on trust, mercy, understanding. When I commit a sin, I trust in God that He still loves me and I know He will help me stand up.

What is my faith? Which faith am I closer to: the rigid, fundamental one, without exceptions, or the one based on trust, gentleness, closeness, and mercy? What enlivens my faith and what weakens? Which way do I want to go on the path of my faith?

 

2. Have you never

Jesus admonishes the Pharisees, who rebuke him that his disciples break the rules: they pick grains on the Sabbath! Jesus shows them that they don’t always do the right thing either.Somehow it is in our life that stricter and more restrictive we become to ourselves, the more we are to others. This does not mean that we will not make a mistake or sin, but that we look at ourselves in a very strict way and even after the sacrament of Confession, we feel guilty for a long time. We approach our loved ones in a similar way. We want them to be almost perfect, we expect it from them. Today Jesus says to each of us: be guided in your life by love, by greater good, that is by what brings me closer to God.Let’s look at ourselves before we judge someone, put a patch on before we say a hurt word. Maybe the first person who needs change and rebuke is me? Perhaps the admonition is: be kinder and gentle with yourself? Think, what one specific thing you can change in yourself just to become more and more kind and gentle to yourself and others, to become more and more like Jesus?

 

3.The Sabbath.

The Sabbath is a day of rest, a day without work, a day dedicated to God. What is your Sabbath?  

 

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)

Mk 1,21-28

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: On the sabbath, Jesus and his disciples came to Capernaum, the city situated on the Sea of Galilee, with several thousand inhabitants. There was a military garrison, a customs office and there was also a synagogue to which Jesus entered and began to teach people who were there. A man with un unclean spirit was also in the synagogue. Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to go out. People were surprised by what they saw and heard. Be present in this scene.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: let me notice and experience the power of Jesus in myself and in my life

 

1. My faith

St. Mark describes healings and miracles, which for the recipients of his Gospel were a sign of God’s action and God’s power, which allows them to speak in today’s language to deepen their faith and believe more and more in Jesus Christ – the only Lord.

What allows you to strengthen your faith in Jesus?

 

 2. …he taught them as one having authority… (…) It was A new teaching with authority.

Jesus taught as one who has authority, or as an authority, and his teaching was with power. Words have power means that they are not indifferent to us, they cause something in us, stimulate reflection, maybe they change our way of thinking and acting. So, it is important for us to listen, read God’s Word, listen to what Jesus says to me in prayer, because his word will work in me and transform me.

Notice which word of Jesus you have heard today has power for you, what does it make you aware?

Strength, the power of words is enormous. I think you probably many times had experiences of being hurt by other people’s words or being comforted by kind words. It is worth being careful what we say and how we say, that we should always consider the good of the other person.

What words do you use when you are talking to others? What are you guided by in these conversations?

 

3. The unclean spirit convulsed him …

Satan screams loud, he must be spectacular to be attractive, noticeable. God comes usually in silence, to the depths of your heart, he does it without shouting, he does not need publicity. God desires the relationship of love with you. A greater good should be its effect.

Seek and find God’s presence in your daily life, your relationships, in all things, those very simple like walking, looking, talking, tasting. Just sensitize all your senses.

 

4. All were amazed …

What does it amaze you? Do you allow yourself to be amazed or is there something blocking you from it? How do you amaze your loved ones, how do you amaze God?

What God has amazed you today, maybe during this prayer? 

 

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)

Mt 12,46-50

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 is speaking to the crowds. See the place where he is – maybe inside the temple. During this time, his mother and his brothers have come to Jesus. Someone notes them and announces to Jesus their arrival. Jesus, however, does not go out to the people who came, but he begins to explain what it means to be his mother, sister and brother.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the grace of getting to know my motivations in contact with others

  1. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother and sister, and mother.

God’s will is a love that seeks to express itself in specific circumstances. It is not destiny. It is the search for an answer to the question: How can I serve God in a given situation? To do God’s will is also means to recognize our desires and follow the desires of the free heart. It means the heart which in its election is guided by the greater glory of God. So, you choose what will bring more goods. It is not enough to go to the Church and pray. Our prayer life should be translated into concrete actions in our lives.

You can look at the life of Jesus. He lived the most perfectly according to the will of God. See what it meant in his life.

Look at your life: how do you recognize and fulfill the will of God? What are your choices?

  1. … wishing to speak with him…

Mary comes to Jesus with her relatives because they want to talk to him. Natural curiosity directs us to the question: what do they want to talk about. However, the more interesting question may be: what is going on in them that they want to talk about something, why is it important, what does it do in them that they go to him to talk, and do not wait for a more convenient time to talk?Look at your contact with others: why are you talking about something, what is happening inside you that you have to say something, or that you keep silence. What happens in your contact with another person that you say something or you avoid talking?

3. Meeting and conversation.What is your meeting with Jesus like? How often do you meet him? Who is talking and about what? Conversation also requires listening. Who is listening and how is listening look like?

 

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)

 

Mk 12,13-17

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 is in Jerusalem. Pharisees come to him and ask questions. Listen, look at the people in this scene, maybe you are also present there.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would follow God’s greater glory in my life

 

1.Questions.

The Pharisees ask Jesus a provocative question: << Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Cesear or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?>> Jesus at the beginning answers with the question: << Why are you testing me? >>

Consider why the Pharisees asked this question, what did they want to get? What do you feel hearing this conversation?

What questions do you ask people, why, what is your motivation when talking to others? What questions do you ask God? What do they cause in you? Why are they important to you?

 2. State law and God’s law.

Jesus answers the Pharisees when he says: Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God. So, he talks about respecting the law created by people and respecting God’s law. One can say that Jesus says: be honest, do your best, obey the rules. The difference between God’s law and human law is fundamental: God’s law comes first, it is supra-state and the moral attitude of man and it is based primarily on God’s law. Ideally, the law created by people would be in accordance with God’s law. This is often not the case: for example, in the case of defending unborn children. It seems that man likes to interpret the rules in his own way, convenient for himself, stretch the law, both state and God’s. If I’m comfortable explaining why I don’t pay taxes, what I’m saying about others is not talking about how to hide some difficult truth, it’s not a lie … We often explain to ourselves that it is not a lie or a lesser evil. However, it is not about choosing the major or lesser evil but we should choose goods. So, if you undertake something, or do not undertake, speak or you are silent, the motivation should be to look for the greater good.

Look how you obey human and God’s laws. What is your honesty in complying with them? How are you looking for a greater good?

3. … from nonspiritual to spiritual life ….

Our internal awareness, thanks to which we notice and get to know our thoughts, our moves, feelings is very important for our lives, it enables conscious shaping of our behavior. If it additionally affects our lives of faith and seeking God’s will (that is, how I find God in my life) we can talk about spiritual awareness. Note what states it evokes in you, what feelings it raises when experiencing reality, individual events of the day, conversations, honesty before the law, contact with nature. Perhaps you feel joy, which is nonspiritual consolation, usually lasting quite a short time, because it is directly related to a specific situation. Searching for such joyful events is entirely up to us. If in this consolation we begin to feel God’s closeness, his love, and gratitude for the gift of creation, then we can talk about experiencing spiritual consolation (usually it lasts longer and is independent of our will). It is worth remembering that nonspiritual consolations may lead to spiritual consolation. (cf. Timothy M. Gallagher OMV, The Discernment of Spirits, chapter 3).

Search and find God’s presence in your life, in your everyday life.

 

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)

 

Mk 9,30-37

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 and his disciples in their way.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I find my identity and my value in God

1.  Messiah.

Probably Jesus does not want the inhabitants of the area (which he went with his disciples from Galilee to Capernaum) to know about him, because of the publicity and the messianic secret. Jesus is the expected Messiah – he works miracles, heals, casts out evil spirits. The Jews needed such a powerful Messiah and they were waiting for him. Jesus shows his disciples the other side of his how he gives much love to every human being, but at the same time he will show his weakness. So, he prepares disciples for his departure, for the scandal of the cross, although they do not yet understand it. Jews do not need such Messiah – a weak one who will allow himself to be killed. That is why Jesus does not want to reveal himself.What Messiah do you want? What is your relationship with him? What is your image of Jesus? Maybe today you will verify your expectations for the Messiah …

2. … they had argued with one another who was the greatest

Probably every disciple in this pericope is looking for recognition, confirmation that he is important, needed, accepted. It seems very human. Disciples lose awareness of what Jesus says to them by focusing on caring and fear for their own greatnessMaybe you have similar. See how it looks in your life. Meet Jesus and ask him: who am I to you, how much do I mean to you?

3.  Jesus shows the child.

You could probably say that Jesus performs a therapeutic exercise. A child is a symbol of helplessness, various difficulties, sleepless nights … Each of us has such an inner child inside us. To accept yourself means to accept this inner child, to hug the child. Meet your inner child as much as you can, also let the child 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)

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: Lake. Jesus and his disciples are in a boat.  Ask for the fruit of meditation: about my skill to use my good experiences (my memory)

1.   Why are you taking about having no bread? (…) do you not remember?

Disciples are worried that they took with them only one loaf of bread. Their care is so much that they stop listening to Jesus. Jesus sees their anxiety and asks the question: why do not they understand, why do not they remember that he always cared about them? Their concern for lack prevents disciples from staying in the present moment, enjoying the moment. Their attention around the lack of them does not allow them to search and find new opportunities and solutions. How do you experience lack? How do you find yourself in this scene?

2.     Look at your life: what good you experience from God in your everyday life through the people whom you put in your way, situations, environment and nature. How do you feel it and what does it mean to you ?Thank God for what you have, what you get.

3.    Get in the boat in which Jesus is with his disciples. Listen to Jesus’ words. Let your eyes see, your ears hear and your heart feel.  

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)

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: see hand washing

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the purity of my intentions in my everyday life

  1. Pure intension.

a. The ritual of washing hands before a meal was not about hygiene, but about sanctity. The external attitude was to testify to the depth of faith. Jesus, however, shows that gestures and religious attitudes can be very far away from what is inside a person, what is happening in human heart. External signs should be the fruit of what is inside. It should flow from the desire to be in a relationship of love with Jesus, with others. Take a look again for your inner intentions: why do you do something or not, why do you say something or do not say why do you write something or do not write, why do you pray or do not pray …

b. Read slowly the beginning ask for the Grace one more time.

2.     Corban

a. Corban means the vow of the destiny of a given thing for God, and as a result this thing could no longer be the subject of normal use (see the New Testament for moderators, OW Vocatio Warsaw, 2010, page 103). If the son wanted to sacrifice his property as a corban for the temple, so that he no longer had the resources to support his older parents, he became relieved of this commitment. It is a perverse action to avoid responsibility to escape difficulties of everyday life. What is your corban? Why?

b. Escape from everyday life does not allow for real encounter with God. He comes in the ordinariness of our lives. He gives you the grace of everyday life. Notice it: what is the grace? Thank you for 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)

Mk 5,21-43

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 scene from the Gospel: Jesus, the crowd around him, Jair, who is asking for healing his daughter and a woman who also wants to be healed.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the experience of Jesus’ presence that deepens my faith 

1. Faith.

We see Jair who asks for healing his daughter and a woman who believes that touching Jesus will heal her. Jair and the woman receive what they ask for. Note that their attitude does not end only with a request but with undertaking a specific action. Jair comes to Jesus to go with him to his daughter, and the woman touches his coat. In the Gospel we read that the woman was frightened. Both persons could feel fear that did not block them from taking specific steps. So maybe faith does not exclude fear, but it gives you strength to take on what everyday life brings, to stay on the path to the Full of Life. Look at your faith: what blocks you from Life and what helps you go to Life.See also that faith connects with touch here. Touch heals. Touch is also a sign of closeness. This also applies to our human relationships. Each meeting: with God, with man can be a kind of touch (physical, verbal, we can touch with a look, facial expressions). In this sense, how do you touch others and how do you let yourself be touched?

2. Perseverance.

Jair and the woman were persistent. Despite the voices of discouragement of others, they stubbornly strove to meet Jesus. Jesus also does not go out of the pressure of the crowd that Jair is unnecessarily engaged. Today, we would probably use words: you will certainly fail, you can’t do it. You probably know the beliefs that you once said and to this day in many situations you have in yourself. Hear them and think about what they do to you. Maybe is it time to leave them?What is your persistence in life, in pursuit of good, in prayer? What helps you to be persistent?

3. Maybe the words from the book by Silvano Fausti “Consider and proclaim the Gospel” (p. 187) can be helpful in this consideration:

Faith is born of hearing Jesus. It allows us to go from despair because of our powerlessness to open ourselves to his power; it causes him to be touched from behind to become a face-to-face conversation with him.Be with these words, allow yourself to meet and experience the presence of Jesus 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)

Mk 3,31-35

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 the scene from the considered Gospel passage

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for meeting Jesus 

1. Jesus explains in today’s Gospel that his mother and brother is everyone, who does God’s will.

a) Jesus talks about relationships, who is his mother, who is his brother. Look at your relationships with others: what they look like, what they mean to you, why you are in them, which of them give you joy and which take away your strength. How do you want them to continue?

b) God’s will seems to be something for many of us that we need to guess and read from a written book. At the same time, we are repeatedly afraid that if we misread God’s will, we will face Hell, or at least some punishment. If everything was written, what would my freedom and responsibility be for my life? Maybe God’s will is all that appears in my everyday life, it is seeking and choosing what brings me closer to God in the place where I am.Think about what God’s will is for you? How do you read it in your everyday life, in your duties, in the place where you live, work, you are?

2.     Come to Jesus. Find a place within you and enter this place to 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)

Mk 2,23-28

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 image from the Gospel: Jesus walking with his disciples who plow the ears of cereal.

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

 1.The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath;

.All the commandments, God’s Law, Sundays and holidays are created for man, that is, to help people live happily, to help them become a better person and develop more and more towards the fullness of life in God.It seems that sometimes we forget about it and treat what we have received from God as help in our growth as weight and shackles that we put on ourselves. It is worth, probably once again, ask yourself what leads me to what I engage in or not engage in, what is the purpose of my prayer and my other spiritual practices, what is my leading motivation for life? Look truth, because only knowing real desires and motivations can lead to purification, or change that will bring me closer to God.

 2. Also look at this scene in this way: disciples enjoy what every day brings them.

On the Sabbath, you must not pick ears, but disciples are hungry. So, they use what is possible, what is within their reach. Maybe Jesus wants to show that everything we need to live is around us, our task is to be open to seeing what we have. It is not about breaking the law, but about noticing the resources and opportunities that each of us receives from God. How do you use what everyday life brings you, what goods do you notice?

3.The Pharisees remind Jesus that his disciples are breaking the law and are committing an unlawful act. Jesus shows them that they also don’t always do the right thing. Let’s look at each other before we evaluate someone, we will attach a patch before we say the hurt word. Maybe the first person who needs a change and admonition is myself? Think what one specific thing you can change in yourself, to become more and more kind and gentle to yourself and others, to become more and more like 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)