Jesus Appears to His Disciples – Let us all drink the same Holy Spirit. John 20:19-23 Commentary

1. Introductory prayer

Come to me, Holy Spirit, that I may live in your consolation, to open up my heart to your words, to speak Your loving words and let you lead the steps of my journey. Come, so that I am full of your love, with which you love me the way I am, all the time.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to John 20:19-23

Jesus Appears 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.”

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel

  • Today’s Gospel reports how the resurrected Jesus gave the Apostles the Holy Spirit. Pentecost, the feast of the Holy Spirit, is described by the Apostles. There it is described how on the day of the Pentecost the Holy Spirit came and filled all gathered.
  • Extraordinary things happened: noise, similar to the storm, flames over each of them and speaking in languages. The event attracted a crowd who wondered: “How is it that we hear them in our own languages proclaim the great works of God.” Anyone at least a bit familiar with the Bible, is reminded of the Tower of Babel.
  • There God mixed the languages ​​of the people and scattered them all over the earth, so that they could no longer communicate. Why did this happen?

People wanted to elevate above God. Above the neighbor they already were, because they had slaves who built bricks to build the tower, now they would like to raise even above God.

  • The same language was the culprit in which they planed their rebellion against God. God saw that same language brings people together in evil, so he mixed them. This evil will not be able to spread with such force as would otherwise would.
  • Why actually have people their language? It should glorify their Creator, sang and praise Him. The language should serve the people to talk and communicate, even for a song.
  • When, for example. Adam saw Eve, his wife, he sang with joy. After the sin, human mouth sang anything but praises to God and his fellow man. His tongue has become deceptive, lying and arrogant. Hence the Tower of Babel and mixed languages, hence the need for a new creation.
    This renovation has fully come to life on the day of Pentecost.
  • Students ​​preached the works of God in different languages. It is not so much important that they spoke different languages, but that they are preaching the great works of God. This is the language that people understand. Students do not talk about themselves, but about God.

As long as man speaks only about himself and his works, nobody understands and listens to him. Even if he speak several languages, he will somehow remain a stranger. Only when he speaks about God and his works, hearts begin to open and it gives birth to communion.

  • This is the work of the Holy Spirit, who brings together what is divided and scattered, because he speaks to all an understandable language.
    The fact that the Spirit unites, says the apostle Paul (Romans 8.22 to 27). The spirit builds, integrates, and connects, but quite differently, as in the case of the Tower of Babel.
  • There is no rebellion against God, nor arrogance. It is quiet, humble and loving weaving of one body, the Church. All have their place in it, regardless of ethnicity, social status, talent, wealth. Spirit builds from within. “We all drink from one Spirit,” we heard. Every Christian is filled with the same Spirit, and thus we become one.

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: ·

  • Jesus showed to the disciples, hands and his side, signs that He has already redeemed the evil that comes into our lives. To whom can I talk about my fears, doubts, worries, lost, and uncertainty…? I Talk to this person and I trust him or her some of this.
  • The Holy Spirit gave the disciples to speak the languages ​​so that people understand. Where in my life I’m talking about God’s work in a way that people understand? Where the Holy Spirit inspires me to continue to do it?
  • Where’s the Holy Spirit calling me and inspires me to do a bold step in my life?

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…

See all the other Bible readings and meditations

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)

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8. Prayer at the end

Holy Spirit, thank you for your freshness in my life. Your thoughts fill my day, your words should be on my lips, Your will to act. Let me dare to act, inspired by Your love.

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  –

Let us remain close in the same prayer! May the Lord bless you abundantly!