YOU ARE MY WITNESSES!
Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Scripture Readings: Acts 16:11-15; Psalms 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a+9b; John 15:26-16:4a
My Dear Encountered Couples:
Jesus tells the disciples in the Gospel about the “Spirit of Truth” who will come from the Father to support and to testify to the truth. Jesus assures them that they will not be alone when they too testify to the truth of his teaching. They will be comforted and supported by the Holy Spirit who is their advocate and their paraclete. “When the Paraclete comes,” Jesus told his apostles, “the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, and whom I myself will send, he will bear witness on my behalf.”
I wonder what the disciples thought when Jesus told them that they would be changing the world by their testimony? Did they wonder if they would become famous? However, Jesus quickly dispels any illusions of greatness or glory. Jesus warns them that they will be persecuted for their testimony. They also will be expelled from the synagogues and even might be put to death! Can you imagine how the disciples reacted to Jesus’ words? Were they frightened? Was their commitment and love for Jesus so deep and strong that they were determined to follow him even if they might be persecuted or possibly be put to death?
How committed are we to Jesus? Most likely we will not be hung on a wooden cross! However, if we choose to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we also may have to deal with criticism, judgment or perhaps even persecution of one sort or another. Sad to say, our world today is not much different from the world Jesus lived in. Just listen to the morning or evening news. Rarely is there “good news” on the morning or evening news.
It is easy to despair, especially in these difficult times. It is important to believe that our God will never leave us. His love is always evident if we open our hearts to it. We must have faith, cling to the truth, and let God give us the strength to persevere. We, too, will find the power to “testify”, to bear witness, to the Lord.