A reading from the gospel according to John 15:26-16:4A
26 Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.
27 And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
1 “I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
2 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.
3 They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
4A I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”
Reflection: Testifying for God
Being religious does not mean being spiritual. We may be very active in the church, perform rituals every now and then, wear religious ornaments but they do not constitute real spirituality if we do not have a deep relationship with God. Just like some religious authorities in ancient Israel, they killed the prophets and even Jesus because they really did not really know God. They were too focused on the external observance of the law.
Yet when the Holy Spirit come to us and enlighten us, we will come to know the Father and the Son. He is the Advocate who will bestow upon us many gifts including wisdom, knowledge and fortitude.
Knowing God is knowing ourselves too. Loving Him is loving ourselves too. Knowing ourselves as the image of God is the first step to spiritual life. This should be our testimony: God is the loving Father who created us and who sent His only Son to redeem us because we rebelled against our Creator. When we live as children of a loving God, our very own life becomes a testimony of the truth about God.
However, in living and speaking the truth, many people will hate us and even kill us just like what they did to Jesus and many of His messengers. Yet the Spirit who reveals to us the truth will be the same Spirit who will strengthen and encourage us so that we will be able to stand every trial and temptation. Let us keep praying and walking in the Spirit of truth.
Dear Jesus, send forth your Holy Spirit to help us to know you more. May our life be a testimony of your love and power. Amen.