Father John Doyle, LC
Jesus said to his disciples: "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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
as I begin this prayer I offer you my whole
self: my thoughts, desires, decisions, actions, hopes, fears, weaknesses, failures
and petty successes. I open my entire being to you,
aware that you know everything already. I’m certain of your
mercy and of the purifying power of your penetrating, loving
Petition: Lord God, help me to live as a true
witness to Christ.
- Witness of Christ: Some people try
to invoke the Holy Spirit as justification for ideas contrary
to Christ’s teaching. A careful look at today’s Gospel illustrates
how this can never be according to God’s plan. The
Holy Spirit is not at odds with Christ’s message, nor
is he working out a plan of salvation distinct from
Christ’s Church. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ
and of the Father; his very purpose in coming is
to testify to Christ. Every true inspiration of the Holy
Spirit moves us to a greater fidelity to the truth.
Am I attentive to the Spirit’s urging me to a
greater fidelity to my Christian commitments?
- Witnesses in
the Spirit: Our faith is by no means a static
reality. Just as the first disciples experienced Christ’s preaching, miracles
and personal love, all Christians serious about their faith discover
Christ’s presence throughout their daily experience. This is especially true
in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. Jesus is
always with us, and his forgiveness and closeness are the
source of our joy. The Holy Spirit empowers us through
the grace of our baptism to give witness to what
we have freely received. Do I take seriously my Christian
vocation to give testimony to Christ’s love? Do I realize
that my first act of testimony needs to be the
witness of a truly Christian life? Do I remember that
in this seemingly daunting task I should rely heavily on
the Holy Spirit as my business partner?
Amidst Opposition: Christ shares with the apostles gathered in the
Upper Room that being witnesses to him will not always
be met with acceptance. Opposition seems to be an integral
part of being a Christian. Deep-seated and unflinching adherence to
Christ and the voice of conscience has never been compatible
with the popular mindset. In fact, many times Christians are
not called to “fit in” but to “stand out”, and
this has inevitable consequences as it did in the life
of Our Lord. The wonderful part is that we have
been promised the final victory. Christ goes before us and
the Holy Spirit is at our side.
Conversation with Christ: Lord
Jesus, it has always been demanding to be an authentic
witness to you. Teach me not to rely on my
own capabilities, but to grow in strength and coherence through
fidelity to the inspirations of your Holy Spirit.
Resolution: I will
make some public sign of witness to my faith today.