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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2014
(Part 41)

WITNESS AND MARTYRDOM

May 26, 2014
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.

And 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.

We 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).

What 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 gods.

Why? 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.

“I 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.

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