Lent 4  Ignatian Imaginative Prayer

Introduction: This week we shift. In our Lenten practice of using our imagination in our prayer and yoga practice we have been imagining being in the crowd when Jesus speaks, tells stories about the kingdom of heaven. This week we have a story about a man in the crowd, a crowd that gives us a picture of what the kingdom of heaven might look like. A community to which Jesus came to bring healing. Blind Bartimaeus speaks and Jesus listened and healed.

Points of interest:

~ While this story is told in all 3 gospels, in the gospel of Mark, the man healed by Jesus is named. This is not true of other healing stories. Mark is the earliest written gospel and other gospel writers had read Mark’s account when they wrote their gospels.

~ Blindness in scripture can serve as a metaphor for blindness beyond the physical definition of blindness.

~ This story is the origin of the Jesus Prayer. A prayer that combined with breath can open us to be aware of God’s promised Presence. Inhale – Jesus, exhale – Son of David, inhale – have mercy on me, exhale – (receive mercy in silence).

Light a candle….Pause

Mark 10:46-52 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

Questions for reflection/imagining

~ Imagine that you’re are sitting on the roadside, physically blind…what are your other senses noticing? Who are you with?

~ Imagine having your eyes opened, vision restored after years of blindness, move beyond the physical restoration to ask where else do you have blind spots?

~ Jesus looks at you and says, “What do you want me to do for you?”

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