Scripture Meditation: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
At the end of today’s first reading, Paul speaks of the importance of scripture in the life of one who belongs to God, that knowledge of scripture is capable of giving one wisdom for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. This knowledge of scripture is not just referring to the study of scripture – but the knowledge of the heart that has allowed scripture to take deep root.
With that in mind, I offer a guided Ignatian meditation on this reading. This is an invitation to let the scripture enter into your heart and mind and speak personally to you. Ignatius said that meditation specifically engages our memory, thoughts, and will. We hear the word of God, and we ponder it, noticing any words, images, or ideas that speak to our hearts. And we speak to God about all of this.
As you read the reading, notice any word or phrase, image, or idea that speaks to your heart or “shimmers” for you. Stay with that and ponder its meaning. Notice how it makes you feel. Let God’s Spirit guide your thinking, imagining, remembering. Savor the experience.
Quiet your body and mind
- Choose a position where you can be relaxed but alert.
- Breathe deeply several times and let your body relax
Ask for a grace
- Ask God to open your heart and mind to what God wants you to hear today.
Read the scripture passage
In this second letter to Timothy, Paul says he is writing to Timothy from his jail cell in Rome. It would have been shortly before Paul’s death. Timothy was one of Paul’s closest companions and had accompanied Paul or served as his representative on many missions. I invite you to hear this words as if Paul were writing them directly to YOU.
You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, persecutions that I endured. Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me. In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted. But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived. But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Paul says, “all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” How have you been persecuted or suffered for your faith?
How has the Lord delivered you? If you are not sure, ask God to show you.
Paul encourages you to remain faithful to what you have learned and believed. How might God be inviting you today – in the context of your own life, in the midst of quarantine and pandemic, in the midst of racial injustice and protest – to be faithful? Ask God to show you.
Take a few moments to talk with God about all you have reflected on, and how you are feeling right now. When you are ready, close with a favorite prayer.
Review of Prayer
St. Ignatius recommends that we review our prayer. A written review has many advantages. It enables us to look back on our prayer experience, and to notice what happened. It allows us to be fully present to our experience of prayer. We do not write while we are praying. The review of prayer enables us not to judge ourselves or look for how well we are doing. It helps us to become more sensitive to how God is speaking to us in the here and now. It is also a precious record of our journey with God, which nourishes wholeness and integration.
Some questions to assist with your review:
What happened in your prayer?
What feelings did you experience?
During the prayer period, when did you feel encouraged?
When did you feel discouraged?
Did you receive the grace you asked for?
What did you receive?