May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilization of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!--Pope Benedict XVI

Monday, May 30, 2011

Today's Gospel Reflection-Witnesses to the Truth

by Winston Elliott III

Jn 15:26-16:4a
26 When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness. 27 And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. 1 I have told you all this so that you may not fall away. 2 They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy service to God. 3 They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or me. 4 But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you. I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you;

"When the Paraclete comes...he will be my witness." Who is the Paraclete? Our Lord says He is the Spirit of truth. Jesus also proclaims the Paraclete is "my witness."  But wait, why does the Son of God, He who says "I am the Way; I am Truth and Life" need a witness? Moreover, the Spirit of truth is not to be the only witness. Jesus' disciples too "will be witnesses." What is happening here? Is Jesus on trial? Why does he need witnesses at all? Didn't over five thousand participate in the miraculous meal of loaves and fishes? How many witnesses are needed? Jesus is offering a preview of the trials to come for Him and for His disciples. Trials which will lead to torture and death, His own included. Its going to get rough for "the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy service to God."

The Paraclete will witness for Jesus. To us and to the whole world. Who will we witness to?  Will we testify on our Lord's behalf, will we share His story of forgiveness, love and salvation? Those who persecute Him, and us, "...will do these things because they have never known either the Father or me." Perhaps this is an answer to why witnesses are needed. Our Lord tells us these persecutors know neither Him nor His Father. So perhaps we should start with them. Let us witness to those who persecute us. It doesn't mean they will stop the persecutions. Not right away. Not completely. But through us they may meet Jesus and His Father. Introduce them to "the Way...Truth and Life." They probably won't thank you for it. But wait...perhaps if you are a faithful witness you may hear those beautiful words...well done good and faithful servant,  join the company of saints. You are welcome here in My Father's house.

Come Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, Spirit of Truth! Please witness to me and to the whole world. Teach me to testify for Jesus, who is the Way, Truth and Life. Without Him there is no life within us. We are creatures and the Lord God, Three in One, is our Creator. Blessed and Holy Trinity pour forth your grace upon us so that we may brighten the whole world with the light of Your truth.

Holy Mary, our Hope, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us. Amen.

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