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».
We are a people in love with God and we express this love through the love we have for one another. It is in this love that we become witnesses to the truth, so that others, by observing our private life, our ability to forgive ourselves, may discover the Holy Spirit who animates us. This is the secret of the Christian life. If we allow ourselves to be animated by this Spirit of truth, He will help us to discover the divine will. By fulfilling the divine will, Christ, the one sent by the Father, will live in us and we in Him: thus we will bear witness to the world as St Paul did, "I live, but it is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me" (Letter of St Paul to the Galatians, V20).
When our life is fully configured to Christ, animated by the Holy Spirit, we will become righteous before God and wise before men. A man of faith and good will, will do ordinary deeds in an extraordinary way. These acts have their origin in God, for it is the Holy Spirit who dwells in us and who impels us towards such and such an act: a perfect discernment before men and a righteous act before God.
Moved by the love of God and neighbor, let us rejoice in God, whatever opposition or persecution may be inflicted. Indeed, the Defender, the Paraclete, the Father's Envoy, will protect us and give us courage. On that day, death will no longer be the end of life, but a new life, a new birth with God and in God.
Action of the day: In a troubled time, put your confidence in the Lord.
«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.