Glory to God in the highest prayer – Give blood and receive the Holy Spirit. John 17:1-11 Commentary

1. Introductory prayer 

Jesus, you invite me to persist, which opens me for a gift that comes from the Holy Spirit. Give me the strength and awareness of your love, even when it seems that is dark, that nothing happens – let me cultivate my garden and take care of the soil to be ready when the time comes.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to John 17, 1−11

Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

17 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel 

  • Before Jesus went to heaven, the disciples wondered if He will in this time restore the kingdom of Israel. They were still trapped in the narrow expectations of their nation, they were longing after the good old days.
  • Therefore, it was necessary to go to the prayer which purifies the heart. “They persisted in prayer,” we heard.

We know how difficult it is to stay in prayer. Who could enumerate all the obstacles that we put on the road, when you want to pray? Memories of the past, worries about the future, the knowledge, that within us is an anthill of thoughts and desires which fills us with a sense of inability to pray. Therefore we need to hold on. Patient persistence makes us acceptable for a gift.

  • And it is precisely for this case. Students expect the gift of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is training them, to be able to accept it. Indeed, on the day of the Pentecost the Holy Spirit will come with the noise of a powerful storm and in the form of fiery flames, but usually the Holy Spirit enters into the heart of a man invisible and silent. It is difficult to feel it, only in prayer grows our sense and perception of it. Of course, if you insist on it.

Some hermit said: “Give blood and receive the Spirit.” Giving blood is to die to everything that hinders us in prayer.

  • How many excuses I have “I forget during the day time and in the evening I’m too tired” or “I have so much work, because I do not have time.” You give blood and receive the Holy Spirit when you get up in the morning five minutes earlier and give the day to God; or after noon for a moment you look what’s happening in your work, thank God for the gifts and praise Him; or during the day when you take a few minutes for the Bible,  pray a psalm; and when in the evening your gratefully trust your Creator and Savior, you look back and you see where was during the day the invisible Comforter and what was he waking up in you.
  • You can give to the Lord also your fragility and sinfulness and sleep in peace. You give blood and receive the Holy Spirit when you’re with a spouse and children and take time for a prayer, when you use a part of your holiday for a spiritual retreat or you may join any group, student, statutory, biblical, prayer, where you will be able to persevere in prayer in society with others. The priest, monk or a nun, they also give blood and receive the Holy Spirit when they persevere in prayer when it is dry and dull, or if they are compelled with an abundance of work. In these days we insist with the whole Church, with Mary and the saints in prayer and in expectation of the gift: Come, Holy Spirit.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • Students have persevered in prayer as they waited for the Holy Spirit. This is a challenge – I would rather prefer to do something immediately. For ourselves, for others … This week I try every day to be a short time, a few minutes with Jesus in silence …I can tell him about the day, on worries, about the ideas that I am looking, relations … and I let myself to feel Jesus, to hear him.
  • Prayer is everything we do. Today I try to do one job particular consciously, with awareness that I am a tool in the hands of God and by this tool, therefore, God brings love into the world.
  • What is my ambition that I can entrust to God, while waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

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7. Action

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action). Glory to God in the highest prayer

8. Prayer at the end

Holy Father, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, which you are sending. You are asking me that already now I believe you have answered my requests and should therefore even more insist in prayer, so my heart will be open when the time comes.

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week. Glory to God in the highest prayer.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  – ignacijevdom.si