The Gospel according to John (15:26 – 16:4a)
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify because you have been with me from the beginning. “I have told you this so that you may not fall away. 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. 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.”
Reflection: This reminds me of the wonderful people from Mary’s Mercy Center. These are folks that have seen “rock-bottom” … more than once. These people ostracized because they look dirty and hungry. These people are judged by others just because they are homeless. Our society categorizes them into one category … dangerous, mentally ill, and on drugs. WRONG!!
These beautiful people around Mary’s Mercy Center are so grateful for what they have. Almost every time I stop and ask any of them how they are doing; they respond with a very positive answer. They are grateful for what they have such as life. They don’t ask for much although we all know what they need. It’s obvious that they need a place to live, a job but most of all, they need LOVE. Just like all of us. We are all “made in the image and likeness of the Lord”. So why should these beautiful folks be different?
The interesting thing about all these folks is that they never, ever blame God for their situation. They will tell you right away that it was all their own doing. How many times have we looked at God and blamed him for certain situations in our life? These folks are so grateful that in any conversation they Thank God for something that we wouldn’t even think of thanking him for. Some of these folks even go a little over-board when it comes to profess their love for Christ but even that is better than nothing. Ultimately, they are not afraid to talk about their faith, lend a helping hand, or to give their love. But society is afraid to accept it.
Jesus taught his disciples with his word and prepared them for life when he would no longer be with them. He knew that there would be opposition to them and danger to their lives because of their following of him. Banishment from their places of worship would bring them to remember what he told them. Prayer is listening over and over again to the word of God so that it becomes part of us like our daily food and daily bread.
God gives us gifts for ourselves, but they are not private personal property. Jesus asks us to give witness. I think of how I might do this and ask for the help I need.
In these days before Pentecost, I ask God to sharpen my hope and to strengthen my faith, that the Spirit of God may strengthen me.
Action of the Day: I pray with compassion for all who do not know God. I give thanks for all who do good without knowing its source. I pray for the change of heart of those who do evil.