Christ continues His Farewell Discourse (John 13:31-16:33) in Jerusalem during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After confirming the coming prosecution to those who proclaim His Gospel and revealing He is sending the Holy Spirit to guide and help men, Christ indicts the Jewish leadership for their hatred and persecution (v. 22-25; omitted from the Lectionary), which is a rebellion against the Father.

Christ again promises to send the Holy Spirit, whom He again (John 14:16-17) calls the “Counselor” (Paraclete, meaning “He who is called to one’s side”) and the “Spirit of truth”; the Holy Spirit will make Christ, who is truth itself (John 14:6), present to men. Sent from the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit will bear witness to Christ in the hearts of men who love and keep His commandments. Christ challenges the Apostles to also bear witness (to testify) for Him in the world, just as the Holy Spirit does.

Christ warns the Apostles that when they testify to Christ’s Truth, they will be be persecuted, outcast from society and even put to death; men will justify their murderous actions with the outrageous claim that they are serving God. Christ affirms the world’s hatred is because men reject the Father and the Son. Christ specifically warns the men of the coming persecutions to strengthen them so they do not fall away.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Person of the Trinity, Christ has Divine Power to remain present in the world by the sending of the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Divine Prophet, Christ’s foresees the coming persecutions and describes them in detail. Divine King, Christ prepares His men to bear witness to Him and to strengthen them in the coming persecutions.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ, the greatest leader of men in history, anticipates the challenges of evangelists and strengthens men to withstand persecution by sending the Holy Spirit. Be awed.

2) To “testify” (related root words include “testes”, “to witness to truth” and “martyr”) for Christ in the increasingly intolerant and sin-loving world is a heroically manly act. During Easter, reconfirm your commitment to be a fearless witness for Christ (CCC 2087, 2471-2474) and pray for Christ to strengthen you to bear witness to Him.

3) To withstand the attacks on His men who testify to the Truth, Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit.  During Easter, recommit to pray for the Holy Spirit (CCC 2670-2672) and ask Christ to send the Holy Spirit to strengthen you in the face of rejection and persecution.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory

Virtue of the Day – Prudence

Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant