Spirit Sent

John 12: 44-50
Acts 12:24—13:5a / Psa 67

I did not speak on my own, but the Father Who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
(John 12:49)

The light of Truth is God’s gift to man,
The Word made flesh, His beloved Son;
Believe His words are the Father’s plan,
As the Father and Jesus are One.

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the One Who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the One Who sent me. I came into the world as light so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father Who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 12:44-50)

Reflection

Some of the religious leaders of the Jews believed in the words of Jesus because of His miraculous works, but they chose not to acknowledge Him openly for fear of being expelled from the synagogue. To them Jesus could only say, “Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.” (Jn.12:48-49)

Jesus’ words in Jn.12:48-49 seems to shed light on an important belief that we acknowledge in the renewal — the good that we do we do not do on our own volition, but by the prodding of the Holy Spirit. It is only the evil that we do which is of our own making. This is what disobedience is all about. That is why as faithful members of our community and the Church, we must always follow the guidelines laid down by those who are in authority over us. We believe that their authority emanates from the grace of the Holy Spirit. We also believe that God’s blessings easily flow down to those who willingly submit in obedience.

We read in today’s first reading how Saul and Barnabas were sent by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word of God to foreign lands. The elders in Antioch laid hands on them, then sent them off on their mission, empowered and eager to serve the Lord. By their example, we should not regard submission to authority as a yoke that we are compelled to bear, but as a discipline that we humbly and willingly accept in full trust that it is essential in our search for enlightenment. It is a firm hand that leads us to the light of Christ from the darkness of ignorance and depravity. The intransigent, the proud, and the hard-hearted who choose to remain in the shadows of sin will be condemned by their own disobedience on the last day.

O Holy Spirit, we pray: let Your light shine upon us to dispel the darkness of doubts and despair. Lead us from pride and disobedience, into submission to the Father’s will. Take over our lives that we may find the fulfillment of our life’s mission. Amen.

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