THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
WITNESS AND MARTYRDOM
Today’s gospel: John 15:26-16:4
The Holy Spirit empowers us to witness to Jesus. The Spirit
comes from both the Father and the Son, as Jesus himself says
that “the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the
Father” (v.15:26a). Wow! That is power-packed! A direct
work of the Trinity.
what will the Holy Spirit do? Jesus says “he will testify
to me.” (v.15:26c). And what does Jesus further say?
“And you also testify” (v.15:27a). This is a commission
not just to the apostles, but to all those who profess to
follow Jesus. That is us.
are called to testify, that is, to witness. And in the call
to witness, we are called to be martyrs. Jesus tells us it
will not be a bed of roses. He does not give any false expectations.
He does not want us to give up when the going gets tough,
as it indeed will. “I have told you this so that you
may not fall away.” (v.16:1).
can we expect? “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.” (v.16:2). Our
religious freedom is being taken away from us. Worse, many
Christians are actually being killed, in such places as the
Middle East. The intent of the secularist forces is to stamp
out faith, going to the most extreme means if need be. And
radical Islamists kill Christians in the name of Allah and
according to the Koran. Secularist western governments are
killing the spirit of Christians in the name of their worldly
Jesus says, “They will do this because they have not
known either the Father or me.” (v.16:3). So what needs
to happen? Should we fall back in order to escape the persecution?
No! We should in fact all the more proclaim Christ, so that
they would know Jesus and the Father. We should evangelize,
so sinners will be converted. But know the sober truth. If
and when we do so, we will be martyred.
have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember
that I told you.” (v.16:4). You have been forewarned.
And you have been empowered to witness. Now go.