The promise of the Holy Spirit
Monday, May 7, 2018
1st Reading: Acts 16:11-15
Gospel: John 15:26-27.16:1-4
When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you. “I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus made a scary forecast about the life of His Church in today’s Gospel reading. We read, “The hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God”. But he didn’t make this warning without committing his full support. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to be Advocate to his followers. True enough persecutions came but the Holy Spirit sustained the faith of the followers of Jesus. This resulted to so many martyrs enriching the Church with the shedding of their blood.
This Gospel reading is still relevant to us today. We may not be killed for the sake of our Christian faith like the martyrs of old, but we are oppressed at the psychological and emotional level by the growing opposition against the Church. What sustains us in these difficult times of is the promise that the Lord will always be with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20).
This abiding presence is fulfilled in the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. “We live in the Church at a privileged moment of the Spirit”, wrote Pope Paul VI in the document Evangelii Nuntiandi. This papal pronouncement is not without basis. Although there are some opportunistic leaders using the charismatic phenomenon for some personal agenda, it cannot be denied that the swelling of the number of charismatic communities is the work of grace. In Cebu, alone, the presence of the Bukas Loob sa Dyos cannot be overlooked because in almost every sector of the community there is a BLD member living out the gift of the Holy Spirit in the daily grind.
Jesus is not a propagandist who sugarcoats his message just to preserve the number of his followers. He tells it as it is. But he cannot be outdone in generosity. If we give our discipleship our best, he gives us his full support in good measure, pressed down and flowing over. That support is already at hand in the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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