Testify to the Truth

John 15: 26 – 16: 4
Acts 16: 11-15 / Ps 149: 1-6, 9

You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
(John 15: 27)

Give me courage to testify
On behalf of my Lord Jesus Christ;
For my sake He was crucified,
For that it’s just a small sacrifice.

Jesus said, ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. I have told you these that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when those who kill you will think that they are offering worship to God. And 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 about them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.’ (John 15:26 – 16:4)

Reflection

When St. Paul first encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, his personal conversion was immediate. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to testify about Jesus in every place that the Holy Spirit sent him. The Spirit worked so powerfully in him that those who listened with an open heart were instantly converted. In the city of Philippi, a Roman colony in Macedonia, a prominent woman named Lydia (Acts 16:14) was so taken in by St. Paul’s testimony that she invited him and his companion to her home, and she and her whole household were baptized and became Christians.

The prophecy of Jesus in today’s Gospel of John applied accurately to the experiences of St. Paul in his mission (although he was not with Him “from the beginning”, but was His last apostle). He was not only expelled by the Jews from their synagogues, but was stoned on several occasions. The Jews wanted to kill him because they thought he was blaspheming against their “One true God” by preaching about Jesus. Ignorant about the Holy Spirit and the Trinity, the Jews did not really come to know either the Father or Jesus.

Reflecting on His words, it is not surprising that most of us who “have been with Jesus” (in the renewal) and touched by His Holy Spirit cannot help but testify on His behalf. If we do not give witness to His Good News of salvation, then we will be in danger of falling away, like the proverbial branch cut off from the vine. It is in cognizance of this that our Brotherhood encourages all its members to testify for Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit by sharing their life testimony in our weekly breakfast meetings. In turn, many former nominal Catholics invited to our Saturday breakfasts have found their faith renewed by this unique feature of our Brotherhood’s culture.

Today we are all called upon again to give a different kind of witness — to our freedom and democratic principles through our ballot. May our choices for the political leaders that we elect be a testimony of our maturity as a true Christian nation. May the Holy Spirit give us the grace to discern our choices wisely, for Truth and for the sake of our country.

You call us, Father God, to give witness to Your power of transforming our lives, and Your Spirit has inspired and emboldened us to proclaim Your Word in our assemblies. Open the minds and hearts of those to whom we are giving our testimony, so that the seed You plant may grow and bear fruits abundantly. May the results of our elections today reflect Your will for our country. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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