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."
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 gaze.
Lord God, help me to live as a true witness
1. 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?
2. 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?
3. Fidelity 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.
will make some public sign of witness to my faith