A Prayer Exercise by Stephanie Kammerer

Take these steps one at a time. Don't read ahead, don't rush, and use your imagination!

1. Read Luke 6:37-42.  Read it a second time, then put the Bible away.

2. Imagine you live in Jesus' time, and you're planning to meet up with the disciples to listen to Jesus teach.  Before you can leave your house, an acquaintance (with whom you're not getting along) arrives and says, "I hear you're going to spend the day with Jesus.  Can I come with you?
(Notice how you feel.  What do you say?)

3. Imagine that the acquaintance tags along, and asks you what Jesus is like.
(What do you say? How do you feel?)

4. When you arrive at the meeting spot, there are many more people gathered than you were expecting to be there.  It's not easy to get close to where Jesus is standing.
(What do you want to do? What does your acquaintance say?)

5. You see Jesus sit on the ground.  He seems to be inviting everyone to settle down.  Imagine that you approach his group sitting in the shade, and hear Jesus say, "Stop judging, and you won't be judged.  Stop condemning and you won't be condemned.  Forgive, and you'll be forgiven."  Hear whichever words of Jesus you recall from the passage you read.
(How do you feel about what Jesus is saying?)

6. Jesus looks up and sees you.  He calls you and invites you closer.  What do you do? He asks who your friend is.  What do you say?

7.  Jesus says, "I'll show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them.  They're like a person building a house who digs deep to put a foundation on rock - and when the flood comes, the river surges around the house but doesn't shake it because it was well built.  But the one who listens and doesn't act is like someone who builds a house without a foundation - and when the river surges against it, it collapses and is completely destroyed."
(How do you feel about that? Do you say anything to Jesus? Does your friend?)

8. Imagine that your friend has to head home, and ask if you'd walk with them.
(What do you say? How do you feel?)

To end, turn to the Father and ask him for what he most desires for you.

(Exercise from Paul McCarren, SJ)