At the end of today’s Gospel reading we find Jesus pointing to the role of the Holy Spirit. In an age of persecution these words were a significant reminder of how important reliance on the Holy Spirit is. In an age like our own when many are mired down in ambiguity these same words can be a reminder to those who are uncertain about matters of faith that they can rely on the Holy Spirit to guide them to truth and certainty.
Looking a few verses ahead of today’s Gospel we are shown how at this point in Jesus’ ministry thousands of people would gather, trampling on one another, and shoving to be able to see and hear Jesus speaking. Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, i.e. hypocrisy among religious leaders.
It would not be much longer after that time before Jesus words that the Holy Spirit would teach what should be said as defense would become very important to anyone who was brought before judges or rulers.
Then, as now, in defense of Faith and spiritual teaching it is most important that those called to give defense be solidly grounded in Faith, and Hope, and Love.
Those gifts of the Holy Spirit; Faith, Hope, and Love; need to be rooted and grounded in God Himself.
If we think about it in terms of what Jesus told the crowds about him in today’s Gospel, it is the Holy Spirit acting within a person who gives the Everlasting Faith, and the Eternal Hope and above all else the Abiding Love that form the only true defense against any false teaching. Do you have those gifts within you? Pray for them, and then commit yourself to live by them!
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