The discourse from yesterday’s Sunday readings continues. Jesus took a good time to strengthen His apostles for the task ahead.
Jesus knows the impact leaving His apostles would be on them. He knows the trauma, the uncertainty and the enormous task facing them. To make this task easier for them, He promises them an Advocate.
He promises them a Helper the Holy Spirit to be with them. Therefore, when things become hard for them, the Holy Spirit is always there to help.
This Helper will strengthen their faith in the midst of fear and uncertainties. The helper will help them to conquer boundaries they might not conquer with their power.
Every Christian needs the Holy Spirit if we truly want to be effective in our ministry. This is a sign that we cannot do everything alone. We cannot depend heavily on our human power and efforts. We need the Holy Spirit. He is our helper, especially in times of difficulties. No difficulty is greater than the power of the Spirit of God.
The Helper will Testify.
Jesus says to them, when the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, He will testify on my behalf.
Here the Greek word “martyrēsei” was used by John to explain what it means to testify. Jesus uses the analogy of words used in the law court to drive home what he means.
Therefore, “martyrēsei” simply means to bear witness. Like in the court, to say whether this is true or not.
In essence, it serves as evidence or proof of something or someone. Jesus sends the Spirit to testify that truly He is the messiah. This should be a sign for more to believe in Him.
Therefore, the Helper will help us come to the knowledge of the truth. We need Him in those times our faith is falling. Always call on the Holy Spirit.
We are called to be Witnesses.
Jesus in turn tells His apostles, You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. This is because they have had a personal experience with Jesus and have heard from Him.
To testify and bear witness to something, I must have personal experience, so that I can say: ‘This is true or not true”.
To do this the apostles had personal experience with Jesus and were empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit. We all have been called to be living witnesses not just by what we preach only but by the way we live our lives.
The easiest way to do this is to seek a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord and pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. By then our acts and our words will be so inspired. To make this possible, we need the Advocate, the Helper, and the Holy Spirit.
The Helper Will Protect Us from Stumbling.
Jesus explained to His apostles that the reason He is doing this is to keep them from stumbling. They will face agony, betrayal, torture, persecutions, insults, backbiting, even murder etc but they have to stand their ground because they are not alone.
These they may not do on their own. They have to work with the power from on High. The Helper is always with them in these times of torture and persecution.
The point is that everyone who is truly interested in touching lives, inspiring souls to conversion, evangelization and promoting Jesus should know it is not a field to enjoy.
Once you live to preach and stand against evil, the devil will not just fold hands and watch you destroy His kingdom, He will try to frustrate and fight you but do not forget you are not alone. There is always victory at last. The Helper is also with you.
When everything becomes hard, remember it is not by your power or might but by the Spirit of God. ( Zech 4:6). When we also encounter challenges in our different apostolate and ministry, remember you have a Helper who is willing to show you the way out.
He is willing, day in and day out, just that sometimes we are so weak even to open mouths and utter “Holy Spirit help me”.
Sometimes, we are so faithless that sometimes we doubt whether these are true or just mere words. That we do not see things happen does not mean they do not happen. We need the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is real. He inspires. He helps, He prays with us.
May God fill you with the power of His Divine Spirit and may every challenge you are passing through bow before Him. Amen