Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Good News Reflection
Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
May 18, 2009

Today's Readings:
Acts 16:11-15
Ps 149:1b-6a,9b
John 15:26--16:4a

Testifying to Jesus

In today's Gospel reading, Jesus points out that the Holy Spirit "testifies" to Jesus. The Spirit of Truth, sent by the Father, speaks the truth (as God the Advocate) about who Jesus really is and what he is doing for us. This is why you responded to the truth when you heard it. On our own, all of us would have rejected it as something that doesn't fit with our earthly, sin-prone desires and expectations.

Whenever someone converts to Christ or grows in the faith, it's because the Holy Spirit has prepared the heart to recognize the truth. Only the Holy Spirit can reach a soul and teach it the truth. And we who have already accepted the truth are the books that God uses to make the lessons easier to understand.

How are you "testifying to Jesus"? We are witnesses of the truth whenever we act upon our faith in the circumstances of daily life. We advocate the truth whenever our behaviors reveal the advantages of believing in Christ. Everything we do and say should reflect who Jesus really is.

Are there any words that come out of your mouth that testify against Jesus? Have any of your recent decisions testified against his trustworthiness? Does the way you handle difficult people testify against his love?

Jesus goes on to say that "the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God." Applying this to today's troubles, is anyone killing your efforts to use your gifts and talents for the kingdom of God? Maybe you're trying to right a wrong or stand up for a truth that others don't want to hear and you're being persecuted by your fellow Christians.

When a new scandal or other problem arises, what is your testimony? Are you silent? Fearful? Negative? Complaining? Publicly expressing anger? These are normal reactions, but if we remain stuck here, we're testifying that evil is stronger than God. On the other hand, if we work with the Holy Spirit to be the Advocate of Christ, we can testify to his healing and redemptive power; we can become the advocate of justice and love.

Christian living is never easy. Testifying to Jesus means walking with him to the cross and suffering in unity with his sacrificial death. The greatest testimony of this walk, however, is the resurrection, the renewed life that always comes afterward, and the Pentecost of the Holy Spirit's empowerment.

Problems in the Church, in our relationships, and in everything else are all opportunities for God's glory to be revealed. They are purgings that lead to purity, trials that build faith, lessons that teach us to keep our eyes on Jesus, and dyings that raise up greater reliance upon God. We should never fear that exposing problems to seek a cure will only lead to disaster.

Let us raise our voices to declare the glory of God and testify to Jesus by being good examples of his truth and love! May every scandal and hardship end up reflecting who Jesus really is, amen!

© 2009 by Terry A. Modica; All Rights Reserved.
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