MAY 10. EASTER. Wk 6. Jn. 15 26-16.4
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘When the Advocate comes,
whom I shall send to you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father,
he will be my witness.
And you too will be witnesses,
because you have been with me from the outset.
‘I have told you all this that your faith may not be shaken.
They will expel you from the synagogues,
and indeed the hour is coming
when anyone who kills you
will think he is doing a holy duty for God.
They will do these things
because they have never known
either the Father or myself.
But I have told you all this,
so that when the time for it comes
you may remember that I told you.’
It is interesting to note how, as Christ is preparing for his departure from this earth, he addresses different issues with his disciples who he will leave behind. The spoke of the dangers of the world, he prayed to the Father for the welfare of the Church he had created, and here he tells his disciples of his plans to send the Holy Spirit to guide them.
And what will the Holy Spirit do for his Church? He will guide it by ensuring it taught only the Truth, with Christ referring to him as “The Spirit of Truth!” We need to ponder this gift of the Holy Spirit; - the third person of the Blessed Trinity; - whose role is to enlighten and safeguard the Church by ensuring it always possesses, and preaches, “The Truth!”
This is a tremendous gift, one Christ knew to be essential in order to deal with all the trials and sufferings his young Church would experience. In telling his disciples they would have access to “The Spirit of Truth”, he also made it known they would have to endure many sufferings; - so it was essential they had guaranteed access to “Truth!”
“I have told you all this that your faith may not be shaken. They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God!” It is Truth that enables us to endure sufferings and, to remain strong in Faith but sadly, we tend to take this gift; - via the Church, Prayer and Holy Spirit; - for granted; - but it is essential for sustaining one’s Faith in the face of trials and suffering.
It can be easy to forget the intimate link that exists between Faith and Truth and how they depend on each other for endurance and perseverance, but Christ knew if we did not have knowledge of ‘The Truth’ we would not persevere in our Faith and this is the teaching he is giving us in today’s reading.
“When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness!” His role is to guide and bear witness to Christ’s teachings, and to ensure we have access to that essential ingredient for Faith; - Truth!
Gospel Acclamation John 15:26,27
The Spirit of truth will bear witness to me, says the Lord,
and you also will be my witnesses.