A reading from the gospel according to Luke 12:8-12
Jesus said to his disciples:
8 “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
9 But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.
10 “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
11 When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.
12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
Reflection: Do not worry.
Good News: The Holy Spirit will teach you.
Pointers for reflection:
A) Acknowledging and denying Jesus
When we are in a relationship with another person, we should be proud of it. Otherwise, it is not a real or honest relationship like some people who hide their relationship for some reasons. That is why, when we develop a relationship with Jesus, we should be proud and tell the whole world about it. We should not be ashamed to introduce Him to other people. We should not be ashamed or afraid to pray to him even in the presence of other people. Not that we are bragging or doing it for show but there are some instances when we need to pray in public.
B) Unforgivable sins
The Holy Spirit is our Advocate (John 4:26) who gives us many gifts (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) and who is with us always (Luke 14:16-17). When people themselves refuse these gifts, become obstinately unrepentant and deliberately choose to worship the devil, they commit an unforgivable sin. When they turn away from God with full liberty, deny Him and mock Him, how can they be forgiven? God forgives us only when we humble ourselves, repent and ask forgiveness.
C) Worrying what to say
Jesus tells His disciples not to worry about what other people especially those in authority will say or do about them. To give testimony about one’s faith is often times not easy. It takes great courage to preach or share the Word of God especially in places which are hostile to other religions. That is why, He promised His full assistance through the Holy Spirit. Even in the Old Testament, it was God who put words into the mouth of the prophets, (see Exodus 4:12, Deuteronomy 18:18, Isaiah 51:16, Jeremiah 1:10).
D) Empowerment from Jesus
Let us recall that when Jesus sent out His disciples, He gave them power and authority. This power and authority include the power of words backed up with power to perform miracles. Moreover, in Matthew 2820, He promised to be with His disciples until the end of time. Thus, those who are called to witness for Him need not worry about what to say. His presence is sufficient enough to overcome any obstacle. They will meet surely opposition, receive ridicule and experience persecution but the reward is eternal life.