Jesus said to his disciples, «From the Father, I will send you the Spirit of truth. When this Helper has come from the Father, He will be my witness, and you, too, will be my witnesses for you have been with me from the beginning. I tell you all this to keep you from stumbling and falling away. They will put you out of the Jewish communities. Still more, the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will claim to be serving God; they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. I tell you all these things now so that when the time comes you may remember that I told you. I did not tell you about this in the beginning because I was with you».
Our Christian life is always marked by our witnessing life. This witnessing life begins with what we have heard or learned, what we have seen and particularly what we are living. When these three elements come together, then it becomes a life witness, which is more credible than the words and discourse.
How to live this witnessing life? It all begins with our personal realisation or awareness of what is happening in us, particularly our capacity to identify the inner movements of our being, including our feelings and emotions what are connected at the exterior realities and implicitly connected this inner movements of our life. The day we identify the source of these movements, (the work of the Holy Spirit), we start to live a credible life according to these inner movements. Unless and until we learn to identify them, which are in us, how can it possible for us to identify these very movements in the heart of others?
The believing community had and will always be treated as a danger in a consumeristic and individualistic world. Jesus is promising us the ‘Paraclete’ or Comforter’, the Holy Spirit, the very divine presence which accompanied Him throughout His earthly ministry. He will protect us and guide us.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The Comforter is with us in our troubles, by Cyril of Jerusalem, 430-543 A.D.
"He is called the Comforter because he comforts and encourages us and helps our infirmities. We do not know what we should pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us, with groanings that cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), that is, he makes intercession to God. Very often, someone has been outraged and dishonored unjustly for the sake of Christ. Martyrdom is at hand; tortures on every side, and fire, and sword, and savage beasts and the pit. But the Holy Spirit softly whispers to him, 'Wait on the Lord' (Psalm 27:14). What is now happening to you is a small matter; the reward will be great. Suffer a little while, and you will be with angels forever. 'The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that shall be revealed in us' (Romans 8:18). He portrays to the person the kingdom of heaven. He gives him a glimpse of the paradise of delight." (excerpt from CATECHETICAL LECTURES 16.20)
«I will send you the Spirit of truth. When this Helper has come from the Father, He will be my witness»
Fr. Jordi POU i Sabater
(Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Spain)
Today, the Gospel is almost as applicable as it was in the last years of St. John the Evangelist. In those days, to be a Christian was not in fashion (in fact, it was rather dangerous) as, now a days, it is not either. Should we want to be well regarded by our society, we better not be Christians, because, in many ways —as it happened to the first Christian Jews— «they will put us out of the Jewish communities» (Jn 16:2).
We are well aware that to be a Christian today is to go upstream. It has always been. Even when “everybody” was a Christian: those who really wanted to be Christians were not too well considered by some. If abiding by Jesus Christ's law, a Christian is a living witness of what God had planned for all men; it is the clear evidence that it is both possible to imitate Jesus Christ and to live with a man's dignity. Many, though, will not be pleased with this example, very much in the same way as Jesus displeased those who killed him. The reasons for this refusal may be several, and we have to bear in mind that, at times, our testimony will be taken as an accusation.
It would not be fair to say that, because of his writings, St. John was a pessimist: he gives us a vivid description of a victorious Church and of Christ's final triumph. It cannot be said either he did not have to go through the same suffering he describes. He does not hide the reality of life or the substance of Christian life: to fight.
A fight for all concerned, for we can never win by ourselves. The Holy Spirit is our battle partner who fights by our side. The Holy Spirit gives us the necessary strength. The Holy Spirit is the Protector, who delivers us from all danger. With The Holy Spirit by our side we should not be afraid of anything.
John fully trusted Jesus; He offered him his life. Thus, it was not difficult for him to trust He Who was sent by Him: the Holy Spirit.