Imaginative Contemplation: Matthew 11:2-11

Here, as stated before, it is my intention to draw from the forthcoming Sunday liturgy and to offer a guided prayer on one of the pieces of scripture in the same way that we have been doing in Exploring Personal Prayer. I do not intend to offer any reflections on the scripture. My suggestion is that you follow the Ignatian structure: preparation for prayer by reading the scripture, going to your prayer place and doing the prayer itself, and then moving away to another place and doing a review of the prayer. Keeping some sort of prayer journal is good practice. Note any moments of consolation in the prayer, where you felt drawn more deeply into God, and moments of desolation, where prayer was disturbed, where you were distracted and pulled further away from God: feelings of attraction and repulsion should be noted. These points may provide areas for repetition of the prayer. Also, if you have a spiritual director or prayer partner, someone who can listen with an ear to where God is in this, it may be worth sharing your prayer with them. I am following the processes outline in the prayer cards above. You may print these onto A6 or A4 card to have in your prayer space to help you become accustomed to this way of praying, remembering it is more of a flow than a rigid structure.

Matthew 11:2-11

Messengers from John the Baptist

When John heard in prison what the Messiah[a] was doing, he sent word by his[b] disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers[c] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

Jesus Praises John the Baptist

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone[d] dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet?[e] Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.”

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Imaginative Contemplation Matthew 11:2-11, guided prayer

Background music is the album: Keith Halligan – Lifestyle Meditation, Global Journey

2 thoughts on “Imaginative Contemplation: Matthew 11:2-11”

  1. This has always been intriguing for me ? Because John baptised Jesus and recoganised him as the special one.
    But then went on to doubt or wonder, is Jesus really the Christ .
    Paul was also beheaded and I still wonder why God allowed that ?
    My experience is of God as the good shepard, as in psalm 23 ?
    I like verse 5 of Matt 11…the deaf were healed. But I guess with todays technology , I must no push my luck.
    I know some theologians come up with that debate about Jesus,” is he the son of man or the son of God ?”
    A no brainer for me because either way Jesus is God in my life experience.
    And if he was a profit and had the seed of God then as with the sunfliwer became God .
    I woun’t be arguing the toss .
    There are some of the mentors I have had the privilege of meeting.
    I could almost sing praises about them. And do thank God for them.
    And so I am happy with Jesus .
    And appreciate that scripture and church history and personal experience of one’s walk with God is the point of focus for me .
    And I am pretty blessed.
    Bless you

    1. You think John went in to doubt his cousin? I’m not so sure. In my imagination, John’s disciples asked John the question about Jesus, and John effectively replies: “Go ask him.”.But that is the beauty of Ignatian spirituality and imaginative contemplation. We get to live in the scripture and encounter Jesus in a way that is up close and personal. I imagine that Jesus loved John’s fiery passion and uncompromising live for God, I imagine them having heated discussions on the extended family trips to Jerusalem for the festivals. I’m sure John didn’t doubt Jesus, that the purpose of the question was for the benefit of John’s disciples to transfer their fidelity to Jesus.

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