Step 21: Jesus arrives to Jerusalem, enters the city and the Temple- Concluding the Second Phase


Each prayer session will be structured as it follows:

The following time will be as it is presented in the “Orientation and meditation”  below.

We go to our place of prayer quiet down a short while and begin with some prayer. After the opening prayer and asking the grace we want to receive in this step then read one of the given Scripture stories then we spend some time with silent prayer. At the end we jot down a diary about the experience of this meditation and share with our companion about it. Finish always with a short prayer. Each session should take at least half an hour and not more than one and the half hour. We remain with the material as long as we feel that it is fruitful in insights and feelings and add more prayer sessions to prolong the time spent with this step, which can take usually one or two weeks if we do it in our daily life with one prayer session a day.

Don’t forget to do the "Daily Examination of Consciousness"

The practice of Examination will be a great help that you need to use during this retreat.


Opening Prayer:

We place ourselves in the presence of God and pray that everything we do would serve the good for us and for all.

Asking what we want:

We continue with the contemplations on the life of Jesus and as for all such Ignatian contemplations “it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become man for me, that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely” [104].

Orientation and meditation:

In this step we contemplate the event that ushers in the last Passover of Jesus. The festive images of Palm Sunday of Jesus’ messianic entry into Jerusalem and in the Temple will soon be followed by the theme of suffering, betrayal and death through which Jesus becomes the witness of God’s love in the resurrection. The crowd hails Jesus as a king which becomes the official charge of his condemnation but the royal entry has a deeper meaning in pointing out which Kingdom Jesus wants to establish. It might be useful to reread the “Kingdom meditation” [91-99] during the time of this Step.

“The contemplations of the events assigned to these periods follow a logical progress from the following the call of Jesus through the demands of his way and the risks involved to the consequences as we arrive to the events leading to the Passion. The Second Phase might be lengthened or shortened depending on the judgment of the companions. They need to evaluate the progress of the Exercises sometimes after the Seventh Period focusing on the question how long they desire to continue with the contemplations and which to choose as better suited for them. For lengthening the Phase use the events described in the “The Mysteries of the Life of Jesus Christ” up to [288]. Some might decide to omit some of the assigned contemplations, but in any case the best event to end this Phase is “Palm Sunday” in [288] as leading toward the contemplation of the Passion in the Third Phase. The companions will see when they feel ready to enter the Third Phase, depending also how the decision-making process will take shape. We will discuss how to conclude the Second Phase at the end of the chapter “Arriving to a Decision” [169-189]…

Concluding the Second Phase:

“As we told earlier, after the decision is made, the companions bring it in prayer to God for confirmation and then they spend some time in quiet and grateful thanksgiving for the graces received. This might be also a bit longer period, as of trying in prayer to live with the choice before going toward the Third Phase of the Exercises. During this transition period the psychological movements will return, but these should not disturb the decision and the peace of finding it, since it was done in faith, beyond the influence of consolations and desolations. This time serves also as a rest after the high intensity of the decision, cherish the decision achieved, see the difference between the act of faith involved in it and the normal ebb and flow of feelings.

The companions continue also the contemplations of the public life of Jesus, of which they can take more or omit some, depending on the method of the decision. In any case, if possible it is preferable to end the Phase with the contemplation of “Palm Sunday” in [288] since it can be a transition to the theme of the Passion in the Third Phase…

“The structure of the upcoming periods will be the following. The contemplations need to be done twice followed by two repetitions and the “application of the senses” (see in [121] and [65-71]). So each period will have five prayer sessions of contemplation and as usual, the repetitions serve to return to that points only that touched us and let emerge significant elements. For this time in the Exercises a topic of decision becomes somewhat clear on which the companions will naturally focus. To aid further this process of conforming and decision there are also reflections to read during the time and the companions need to arrange this material alongside the supporting basis of contemplations…. That means that between the prayer sessions dedicated to contemplation the companions need to return time to time to these reflections and think them over, share and jot down the insights.”                           (Excerpts from the Manual)


For this last Step of the Second Phase the reflection material is in the chapter "Arriving to a Decision" of the Manual


(Of course, it is always possible to return also now from time to time on the meditation on the "Three Degrees of the Love of God", and if the companions desire the third degree they continue to ask for it in the final threefold prayer)

Read also the articles from the page “Writings”, specially “Right to Life: Healing of Societies” and “Marriage, the "Primary Agency of Peace"”



Scripture passages:

1.   Mt 21:1-11 - Jesus’ messianic entry in Jerusalem

2.   Mt 21:12-46 - Jesus enters the Temple and begins to teach there

3.   Mt 22:1-46 - Further teachings in the Temple

4.   Mt 23;24;25 - These chapters collect the last public teachings of Jesus before the Passion

5.   Jn 12:12-19 - John’s description of the entry in Jerusalem

6.   Zec 9:9-17 - The words of the prophet applied to Jesus as who came to bring peace

7.   Is 40 1-11 - Isaiah’s words promise the arrival of the Kingdom of God that ends all fears and gives consolation, comfort and peace


Final Prayers:

Each prayer session needs to be finished with the threefold prayer to accept the way of Christ as in the “Three Types” [156] and in the “Two Standards” [147], or the prayer of “paradoxical intention” described in [157].