1. Introductory prayer
Oh, Jesus Christ, your love is boundless! Whatever I do, You still love me and wait for me to open the door – but anyway, You’re already there! That I give you everything that weighs me, all of the storms, everything that I fear, what I am ashamed. For this grace I ask of you – that I can give all to you, to open my eyes and allow to shine in the light of Easter morning.
2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to John 20:19-23 – Jesus appearance to Thomas and His Disciples
Jesus appearance to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus appearance to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
3. Thoughts on the Gospel
- The Gospel of the 2. Easter Sunday or Sunday God’s mercy again demonstrates to us the first meeting of the Risen Jesus with his disciples. “Jesus came where the disciples were, in fear of the Jews, stood in the midst and said to them: Peace be with you!”
The first gift of the Risen Jesus is gift of peace. The students were frightened, they feared that they will also be grabbed and tried as their Master. Certainly, fear was mixed with the feelings of guilt because they have left Jesus.
- At the Last Supper, they promised loyalty to the grave, but in the hour of trial they were scattered like sheep’s without their shepherd. Such infidelity, such betrayal of friendship hurts. Man is angry with myself, his pride is wounded, and he feels ashamed and even despises himself. All this leaves him depressed, restless. And what is worse, their friend is in the grave. End of their dreams. What binds them together now?
- Anxiety of his pupils is similar to the locked door. Nobody can’t get close. No words of consolation helps, nor the news of the empty tomb and the angel who proclaimed to the women that the Lord lives. The doors remain locked. Then Jesus comes through the locked doors. “Peace be with you!”
He knows their hearts, knows what they need, so he gives them his peace. This peace has forgiveness of sins, the students do not longer need to be ashamed of themselves, and they do not have to blush. Feelings of guilt fall off. After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The Old Testament song of the servant of the Lord says: By his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ wounds become medicine for the pupils, later they will cure also the unbelieving Thomas.
- Perhaps the first reaction at the sight of the wounds: My God, what did we do to you! But at the same moment, Lord, what have you done for us!? Jesus’ wounds are recognizable sign of God’s love. Jesus certainly does not show the students his wounds to increase feelings of guilt. No. He wants to heal them… Of What? Distrust, fear of death, unbelief.
- He wants to bring each of us to the personal, humble and trusting faith of Thomas: “My Lord and my God!” Thomas would prefer to hug his God and never let go. About such faith speaks the apostle Peter in today’s reading, while praising God the Father… love him, although you have not seen him. Believe him, even though you do not yet see. „Peter says that Christians love Jesus. He showed his wounds to the disciples. These are healing for us also.
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:
- Where do I feel the fear that discourages me from the essential in my life?
- I am often like Thomas. But when the Lord came to him, he was humble and admitted that he did not believe. What can I learn from Thomas for my life?
- When I give Jesus anything, He gives in this his love – and everything gets a new look! What do I present today in the hands of the Lord?
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…
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)
8. Prayer at the end
Wherever you come, there is peace – thank you for all the times when you help me to open the door. Help me to open them wide. And the windows too! That fresh air blows into my day, freshness of Easter morning – the taste, only you bring.
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.
Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si.