Friday of the Fifth Week
Lord – you know what I have to do today, and I don’t think that I can do it. Here and now I am handing it over to you, that it may happen to your greater glory. Nick King SJ
Entering into Prayer
Listen to the sounds you can hear around you.
If you are indoors, allow yourself to notice sounds without and within the room.
Identify each sound as you are able. Gently, slowly, without judgement, focus your attention on each one.
Return your attention back to where you were before. If a sudden sound or distraction occurs, acknowledge it and name it. Don’t try to ignore it. When ready, become aware of the sound of your own breathing.
Through the sounds, be attentive to the invitation of God, who dwells in creation...
Today's Scripture (John 10: 31-42)
The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ The Jews answered, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.’ Jesus answered, ‘Is it not written in your law, “I said, you are gods”? If those to whom the word of God came were called “gods”— and the scripture cannot be annulled — can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’ Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, ‘John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.’ And many believed in him there.
Food for thought
Today’s reading is a new conversation: other things have happened in the meantime, other things have been said. Stone throwing threatens again, and Jesus challenges:
‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’. Jesus does not distinguish between action and speech; if his works come from God, so does his authority, and his claim to sonship.
At the end of this passage Jesus goes back across the Jordan to where his cousin John had once been baptising. The people join him and comment: ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’; and many believed in him.
Suggestions for prayer
Spend some time reflecting. Pay attention to the good things Jesus has done in you. Look at what kind of a person you were five, ten, fifteen years ago. Has anything changed for the better? It can be hard to remember bad things you have done if you have learned better since. Thank God for helping you to improve.
Jesus heals the deaf, blind and lame, thank him for the things he has healed in you so that you can do good things. Look at all the good things you have done. Do you ever think it is not enough? Have you made mistakes? Ask God to show you what your gifts are and give you strength and perseverance to make use of them.
Look at the world around you: parts of it are gloriously beautiful, others ugly and sad. How will you help to build the best environment for the future? Ask God to show you how to clear up mess in our world, and protect what is good.
John the Baptist gave no signs, but he gave sound advice and pointed out the truth so that others would know and follow Jesus. Ask God to help you to guide others to the truth.
How are you going to respond today?
The prophesies of the past can sustain us in dealing with the present. Read the first reading for today – Jeremiah 20:10-13
Image for the day
How do you feel about this picture?
Do you find this image helpful?
How do you think Jesus felt or reacted in this moment?
Examen (review of prayer)
At the end of your prayer you can look back and ask: Does it have something to say to you?
How does it make you feel? Imagine how God might reply.
Conversation: When you come towards the end of your time of prayer, talk to God about what has come up for you. End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father.