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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: Nicodemus meets Jesus at night. The meeting place can be a garden.

 

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the desire to meet 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 Nowy Testament dla Moderatorów, Vocatio, page 226, footnotes).

Both understandings are consistent with each other. I accept my life as a gift because I trust Jesus and my trust and faith change my life. This change of life does not mean that you change your husband, wife, order or quit your job. Rather, it is a change in your way of thinking, perception of the world, your duties, your everyday life, other people and yourself. Quarantine time associated with a coronavirus pandemic can help verify your life, your values and priorities. You can experience the feeling of loss and pain of being born again. You may feel it is difficult to cross your comfort zone, but the birth ends with joy from a new life.What is in your life born again?

 

2.     The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;

The Holy Spirit is compared to the wind. We can see an unknown in this sentence: we do not know where the wind is coming from and where it is going. Similarly, with the Holy Spirit, we don’t know where it leads us. We know that it leads us to God, but what is the way to him is unknown. A blind person may arouse anxiety, fear, and uncertainty in us, and this in turn increases our need for control. We want to control ourselves, others and God.

But isn’t it some kind of prison into which we put ourselves? What does control give you? How do you find the freedom that God invites you to?

 

  1. … 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.

Pope Francis in Bull Misericordiae Vultus writes:

<<Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.>>

How do these words resonate in you? How do you experience God’s love and eternal life in the context of the above words?

 

4.     Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Jesus comes to you, not to condemn you, but to give you salvation, to save you. Jesus is coming… 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)

 

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. Mary Magdalene is standing there and she is weeping.

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

 

  1. Whom are you looking for?

Mary Magdalene cries because Jesus, her Master, is not in the tomb. This cry can express her pain, suffering and longing. She doesn’t know where to find Jesus. But he is with her, he is talking to her and she does not recognize him. Maybe Jesus comes differently than she expects? Who are you looking for?

 

  1. She turned and said to him (…) Teacher.

Mary Magdalene was staring at the tomb, looking for Jesus who she remembered. She had created an image of her Master to which she was attached. Only breaking away from this image, i.e. turning around, allowed her to recognize the one she was looking for. Maria Magdalena was open to the novelty, that it may be different than always. Her turning around made her meet Jesus.Today you hear your name and turn away from focusing on your way of acting to the news of Jesus, who

is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world, and everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. (cf. exhortation Christus Vivit, The Holy Father Francis, point 1,2).

 

  1. 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. You and I are the ones who give Jesus- that is the Love:

His is “a love that does not overwhelm or oppress, cast aside or reduce to silence, humiliate or domineer. It is the love of the Lord, a daily, discreet and respectful love; a love that is free and freeing, a love that heals and raises up. The love of the Lord has to do more with raising up than knocking down, with reconciling than forbidding, with offering new changes than condemning, with the future than the past”. (cf. exhortation Christus Vivit, The Holy Father Francis, point 116)

What is causing this fragment in you (how does it affect your feelings, thoughts, desires …)? What does Jesus invite you?

 

  1. Encounter in the garden.

Jesus’ tomb was in the garden (John 19:41). The garden is a common theme in the Bible, the first people Adam and Eve were created in the garden of Eden, the garden of delight. The garden symbolizes the place where God’s presence is manifested. Each person has his own inner garden where the Risen Jesus waits to meet him/her. Look at your garden, see what it looks like, what is blooming, what is starting to grow and what needs watering. In your garden, recognize Jesus as Mary Magdalene recognized him, because 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).

 

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)

J 13, 21-33. 36-38

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: Last supper: see Jesus and his disciples during a meal. Imagine a table, what is on it, how Jesus sits and the disciples, Listen to their conversation.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the experience of Jesus’ love and presence

 

1.Movement.

In Biblia Tysiąclecia we read that Jesus was deeply moved, in Biblia Paulistów that Jesus was deeply shocked, and in Grecko -Polski Nowy Testament that Jesus was moved.

This proves that Jesus strongly felt some emotions, which was influenced by the reality he was in: a farewell meal with the apostles, the awareness of Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial of his acquaintance with him, the Passion that awaited him and the death of the cross. Get into the atmosphere of this reality of Jesus. Accompany Jesus. You can ask him a question: how can I help you?

 

2. Change.

The disciples are embarrassed, they do not understand Jesus’ words, perhaps they feel fear that Jesus wants to leave them. They can guess some changes to come, but they do not know its consequences. Although Jesus was preparing them for his departure, his resurrection, he promised them to send the Holy Spirit. It’s so hard to see hope when you experience loss.

Sometimes you have to get away from yourself, from others, to get a new perspective, a new perspective of your reality. The departure can also be an expression of love, just like the departure of Jesus, which is related to our salvation, that is, with what allows us to live life more fully and experiences his presence and love even more.

See how you experience changes, departures, creating distance, returns. Find examples when you thought that nothing good will happen to you, that the loss you have experienced will not turn you into the so-called straight, and then it turned out that the sun was shining again and that a new good had arisen. Jesus is with you. Now in the midst of a pandemic, another lockdown too you may feel hopeless. What gives you strength to live, what give you hope?

 

 3.     … the disciple whom Jesus loved (…) leaned on the chest of Jesus …

You are the disciple whom Jesus loves. Meet him as you need, 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)

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 Jews or where you meet him: maybe it’s a square in the city, a park, your house…

 

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the experience of Jesus’ presence and trust in him

 

  1. Misunderstanding.

Jesus encounters misunderstanding of people, even the closet ones. Although he has been with them for a long time, they ask the question “Who are you?”. I would like you to look at the loneliness that Jesus experiences. Note that he does not give in to despair, does not ask why, he only warns against unbelief, which does not exclude difficult feelings. How could Jesus feel in this situation? What gave him strength? Today, many people, maybe you too, experience loneliness and misunderstanding. Another year of epidemic, quarantine is a difficult time. We may not understand the new reality. What gives you strength and what helps you taste life?

 

  1. I am.

It is worth considering if we behave like Pharisees and Jews from this Gospel. Jesus says << I am >>. He is and that is the message for today. How do you experience his presence and intimacy today during the coronavirus pandemic? How does this new reality, maybe a new kind of encounter with Jesus change you, your relationship with others and with him?

 

  1.  if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins

We are often afraid of sin, or rather its consequences in the form of the so-called God’s punishment. First of all, sin hurts ourselves, because of it we lose our relations with ourselves, with other people and with God. He cuts us off from life, from joy. What is blocking you from living? Maybe it is time to believe more that Jesus is and, despite the blockages, go to Life…

 

4. I always do what pleases himlet this icon be a quote from Pope Francis, Christus vivit point 12

One of Jesus’ parables (cf. Lk 15:11-32) relates that a “younger” son wanted to leave his father’s home for a distant land (cf. vv. 12-13). Yet his thoughts of independence turned into dissolution and excess (cf. v. 13), and he came to experience the bitterness of loneliness and poverty (cf. vv. 14-16). Nonetheless, he found the strength to make a new start (cf. vv. 17-19) and determined to get up and return home (cf. v. 20). Young hearts are naturally ready to change, to turn back, get up and learn from life. How could anyone fail to support that son in this new resolution? Yet his older brother already had a heart grown old; he let himself be possessed by greed, selfishness and envy (Lk 15:28-30). Jesus praises the young sinner who returned to the right path over the brother who considered himself faithful, yet lacked the spirit of love and mercy.

 

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)

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 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 a festival of the Jews. Jesus also goes up to Jerusalem at that time and he meets a man who has been ill for 38 years.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: for the hope that Jesus gives me

 

  1. Do you want to be made well?

In the Gospel we see a sick man. His disease is not named. Perhaps it is some kind of motor dysfunction, a kind of paralysis that prevents him from moving freely. They make this man stay in the same place for several decades and repeat the same pattern of action: he tries to approach the pool of water. And then Jesus comes to him and asks: Do you want to be made well? The sick man does not answer this question directly, but tells about his difficulties. anything else, he doesn’t have to make decisions, and he has an excuse for his miserable life.

Look at your reality, look at yourself. What is paralyzing you in your life? What are the benefits of being stuck in your illness , paralysis?

 

  1. Stand up, take your mat and walk.

Jesus says to the sick man: Stand up, take your mat and walk. It is an invitation or a call to life for which the sick person has to take responsibility. It’s up to him to get up, pick up the mat and go on. It is his decision and responsibility how he lives his life.

This scene is an invitation for us to learn to respond to Jesus, another people, to take responsibility for our life, for its shape, taste and smell. Each decision is better than no decision, because it leads us to a different place, it does not keep us paralyzed. If it is not good, you can always change the course of action. Daily prayer helps in discerning – that is, meeting Jesus (cf. CCC 2725: We pray as we live, because we live as we pray.)

What is your response to Jesus’ invitation to live? How do you take responsibility for your own life? What shape, smell and taste do you give it? How do you give life to others?

 

  1. … do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.

Jesus shows that sin is worse than bodily disease. Note that Jesus does not scare the sick of Hell, but rather indicates worse consequences in life, a spiritual paralysis that is worse than physical paralysis. This paralysis may be the loss of hope that I will get out of a difficult situation, addiction, the lack of faith that I have an influence on my life or the resignation from my needs and desires.

What are you choosing today: Jesus who gives hope and life or spiritual paralysis that gives you hopelessness?

 

  1. … Jesus saw him …

Now Jesus see you. He goes to you just as he went to the sick man. Let yourself meet 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)

Mt 18,21-35

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 someone asking for something, e.g. a favor, debt relief, forgiveness …

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to take small steps towards Jesus 

1.     Then Peter came and to him, Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?

a) Perhaps we would also like to get an answer from the outside, maybe even receive a written letter from God with precise instructions on what to do. However, everyone makes the decision by himself / herself, even if he / she received an advice of what and how much to do. It is up to you whether and how you use the advice. It is always your decision and your responsibility. How do you experience your responsibility for your life?

 b) Very often we would like to clearly specify << how much? >> for our internal or external certainty. In the passage under consideration, Jesus shifts Peter’s attention from the word how much to the quality of forgiveness. This is well explained by Fr. S. Ormanty TChr in the Biblical Commentary (my translation): In those social conditions, incurring debts was commonplace. One servant had a small debt owed to his fellow servant: one hundred denarii, which is the equivalent of one hundred working days in Israel. Such debt contrasts strongly with the debt of the servant of the Lord – ten thousand talents are a huge sum, impossible to pay back; the talent was six thousand denarii. So, we have a great numerical contrast. In the face of such a great debt, the servant could only count on his generosity. And here lies the main meaning line of this parable. (Żywe bowiem jest słowo Boże, skuteczne… Komentarze biblijne do czytań na rok A, S.Ormanty TChr, Hlondianum, Poznań 2007, 313). What is the quality of your forgiveness for yourself and others? What does this parable encourage you in your life situation, where you are? Which debtor are you more aware of? 

  1. Divine Mercy

God loves you and he first comes to you and forgives your sins, faults. He does it out of love. For him, forgiveness is always a profit, meaning an ever-renewed relationship with a human being. Jesus’ reply: <<Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.>>, introduces an infinite amount of forgiveness – always. God does not tire of forgiving. What moves me about this attitude of Jesus?

  1. A small step

Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium in point 44 wrote: … A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.

Forgiveness is a process that needs time and continuous re-starting by taking small steps.  Rather, forgiveness is about my inner attitude towards the other person, so that my feelings will not grow in me, which will stimulate me to some kind of revenge, to get back on the other person, but I will be able to say with more and more calmness that I wish well to my culprit. The gradual forgiveness adds hope that you can do it. What moves or touches you in this?

 

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 23,1-12

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: chair (cathedral)

Ask for the fruit of meditation: to be true (humble) with Jesus 

1. … but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to beat, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them

Jesus draws attention to the two-track function of the Scribes and Pharisees and encourages them do whatever they teach you and follow it. In what sphere of life do you experience personal dualities, and what can you do to make Jesus more consistent? You can ask Jesus during this prayer.Notice, too, that Jesus, speaking of this two-track, tells you to keep whatever the Pharisees say. That is, looking at a broader perspective, he encourages us to take for ourselves what bring us the greater good. We can often meet reactions in ourselves and in others to authorities such as: how can he / she tell us something like that if he / she does so badly!  Yet Jesus speaks … you can listen to such people but not follow their actions. How is it in you in this context?  

 

2. They do all their deeds to be seen by others.

It is good to experience acceptance, affirmation, and being wanted from the beginning of your existence. Each of us desire this condition consciously or unconsciously. Unfortunately, the participation of each creature is marked by a crack, which we call the Original Sin and its consequences. The desire to be important, noticed, appreciated can arouse in us a certain “theatricality” of being, fascination, adulteration in various living spaces. What tendencies do you notice in yourself? It can contribute to our submission, the fear of setting boundaries, the tendency to self-exaltation, to actions that prove that I must earn acceptance. More generally, this desire, while good in itself, can be very destructive to ourselves. What tendencies do you notice in yourself? Allow yourself to be with it in front of Jesus who takes it upon himself and transforms it constantly. Let yourself be with it before Jesus, who took it and changed it.  

 

3.The greatest among you will be your servant. Answer the question – and what does it mean to serve? – is in Jesus’ life – in his way of experiencing all reality. We learn this attitude by being selfless (motivated – intending) being with Jesus. Prayer is a time “lost” to being with Jesus. It transforms.

 

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 intentionsand 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 are in a boat on the lake.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: about my skill to use my good experiences (my memory) and the desire to seek and find good in my life

1. guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.

Jesus warns the disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, that is, lack of faith, hardness of heart, strict adherence to the letter of the law, and reminds them of the story of the multiplication of the bread. Rather, it is no coincidence that kvass is combined with bread, the production of which requires (or at least once was) leaven. Perhaps it does not take much for the leaven needed to make bread, that is, something life-giving, to become acid.

It is up to you how you will take care of the leaven in you, what conditions you will create for it to develop and what kind of bread will be made from it. You decide how you care for your faith, how you deepen your relationship with God, what space and time you give to meet Him. Maybe the time of Lent that begins tomorrow will be a time for you to build an ever closer relationship with God (what exactly will you do?) That will transform your thinking, your behavior patterns, emotional paths, just your whole …

2. Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? (…) do you not remember?

The students are worried, they complain that they have taken only one loaf of bread with them, and that they may not have enough. Their focus on the lack is so great that they stop hearing Jesus, who sees their anxiety and asks the question: do you not yet understand and understand …? After all, they have experience that the five loaves Jesus broke were enough for five thousand people! Concern for lack prevents students not only from staying in the present moment, enjoying the moment and what is, but even from recalling good past experiences. Failure begins to occupy their full attention. Does he sometimes become their idol when they cannot hear Jesus in the boat with them? Is it not easier for us to see what is not there and not to see what is, to feel unhappy because of lack than happy because of what we have, point out to someone what he does not give me than to thank for what he gives? How do you find yourself in this scene? Do you not remember …?

3. how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?

That is, evidence confirming the multiplication of the bread, i.e. the love of Jesus, His care for a hungry man.

Let your eyes see, teach you to hear, and your heart to feel. Look at your life in this attitude: how God cares for you in your everyday life through the people he puts in your way, situations, surroundings and nature. How do you feel His love? What does it matter to you?

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

The ritual of washing hands before a meal was more for sanctity and less for hygiene. The external attitude should guide us to testify to the depth of faith. Jesus, however, shows that gestures and religious attitudes are very far away from what is inside a person and from what is happening in human heart. But 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…

 

  1. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed

The Pharisees took over and they follow the customs and patterns learned from their ancestors. They can probably do it thoughtlessly, automatically, believing they are doing the right thing. Each of us has some patterns, beliefs, patterns of behavior that were developed in childhood or at an earlier age. We probably needed them once and could help us in our lives, but do we still need them today? What role do they play today?

 

  1. Corban

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, in other words, it is a choice of a smaller good, a choice of something more comfortable for us. What is your corban? 

 

  1. The grace of everyday life.

God comes in the ordinariness of our lives. He gives you the grace of everyday life. Notice it: what is the grace? Thank God for it during your prayer (The Ignatian Examen).

 

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) 

Lk 2,22-40

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: Mary with Joseph and their child Jesus come to Jerusalem to the temple to consecrate their child to God. In the temple are Simeon and the prophetess Anna. Simeon takes Jesus in his arms and says: my eyes have seen your salvation.

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to seek and find God in myself, my relatives and my everyday life

 

  1. Consecration.

Mary and Joseph keep the provisions of the law, according to which the mother was obliged to consecrate the firstborn son to God in the temple and to make the sacrifice (based on: ks. Stanisław Ormanty TChr, Żywe jest bowiem słowo, Boże, skuteczne … Komentarze biblijne do czytań na rok „b” część I, p. 142-155) due: a lamb or a pair of turtledoves, if the parents were poor. It was a symbolic gesture of dedication to God, what is the most precious and beautiful for parents, it is a gesture of fidelity to God. Mary fulfills this duty, and together with Joseph they complete what is prescribed by the law in force. The parents of Jesus seem to be aware that God has a special plan for their child that they may find difficult to accept and understand.

a) Consider how you listen to the needs and desires of your child, loved ones and your own, through which God can speak. How do you give your child and others freedom to implement their plans? How do you help your loved ones to discern life decisions, i.e. to seek and find greater good? And finally, how do you discern your path to complete your life in God?

b) The word to consecrate means to sacrifice, to give a gift. We can give our prayers, we can also give someone help, a smile, a good word, our time in our everyday lives…

What and to whom have you given today?

 

  1. Patience

Simeon had a keen desire to await the promised Messiah. The holy spirit revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the Son of God. Simeon waited patiently for many years and lived to see his promise. He recognized Jesus in the Child brought by Mary and Joseph. He is a model of patience for us.

I think that we may have often lack patience in our daily life. We would like to have something quickly, to quickly tell someone something, to quickly see the fruits of prayer. We have the right to want it, but we also have to learn patience and flexibility that not everything has to be now and, in the way, we want it.

What is your patience with yourself, others, God?

 

  1. For my eyes have seen your salvation

These words were spoken by Simeon after he recognized the Messiah in the little Child brought by Mary and Joseph.

God lives in every person, because everyone is created by him. So, God is also in you. He knew you before you were conceived. Look at yourself this way and think about how it changes the way you think about yourself?

 

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)