Lent 3 Ignatian Imaginative Prayer

Introduction: We are in the third week of our Lenten series, imagining ourselves in the stories of Jesus’ ministry, parables that are intended to depict what the kingdom of heaven is like. Today’s story is the second part of the parable of the mustard seed that invites us to imagine how something so small can grow into something so big.

Here are couple of background notes from James Martin, SJ on imaginative prayer that might help us continue to engage our imaginations in our prayer and yoga practice. (For more information, refer to the podcast: The Bible for Normal People)

~ Because different authors of scripture quote Jesus differently, James Martin points out that it means we can hold a literal understanding of a story that perhaps we have heard before AND use our imaginations to truly experience God’s love for humanity in the story.

~  Jesuits, like Ignatius and James Martin, believe we find God in all things as do Franciscans like Fr. Richard Rohr. We find God in our physical world, in our hearts and in our imagination.

~ In using our imagination to pray scripture, we experience the Holy Spirit working within us, adapting language of scripture for the modern listener.

~ We still believe interpreting scripture matters but so do spiritual practices that open scripture.

~ Jesus invites our imagination in the way he tells stories. For example; using the phrase The kingdom of heaven is like

Light a Candle.


The Parable of the Yeast Matthew 13:33-34

He [Jesus] told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”

Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “I will open my mouth to speak in parables; I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”

Questions for reflection:

Recall the last time you kneaded dough.

Can you bring to mind the smell of yeast? Can you imagine the bubbles as the yeast proofs?

When have you experienced the satisfaction of seeing something rise to its full potential?

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