Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to help the Apostles endure persecution and martyrdom. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Courage so he can courageously proclaim the Truth of Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church and by pursuing the Virtue of Prudence so he can rely on the Spirit to help him evangelize others.

Liturgy

6th Week of Easter – Monday – Jn 15:26-16:4

Commentary

Jesus continues His Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33) in Jerusalem during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After confirming that persecution will come to those who proclaim His Gospel, and revealing He will send the Holy Spirit to guide and help His men, Jesus indicts the Jewish leadership for their hatred and persecution (Jn 15:22-25 is omitted from the Liturgy), which is a direct rebellion against the will of God the Father.

Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit as a help to men, who He calls the “Counselor”, the Paraclete, meaning, “He who is called to one’s side”, and the “Spirit of truth”; the Holy Spirit will make Jesus, who is Truth itself (Jn 14:6), present to men. Sent from God the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit will bear witness to Jesus within the hearts and souls of men who love and keep His commandments. Jesus challenges the Apostles to also bear witness (to testify) to Him in the world, just as the Holy Spirit does. 

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

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be reassured by how Jesus, the Divine King and greatest Leader, prepares His men: He anticipates the severe persecution His men will face; He commands his men to testify about Him; He tells them to be prepared for death, for they will be killed; He promises to send the mysterious and powerful Holy Spirit to strengthen men to complete their mission. 

Courageously proclaim the Truth of Christ and His Church

Realize: To “testify” comes from the root word testis (testicle), underscoring the serious and manly courage (Gen 24:2) needed to be a “witness to truth”; today, to testify for Jesus in the increasingly intolerant and sin-loving world is a heroic act. 

Believe: Reflect upon being a heroic Witness for Jesus (CCC 2087, 2471-2474).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Fortitude, help me build the Virtue of Courage (a part of Fortitude) so I am a manly witness who heroically and fearlessly proclaims the fullness of Your Truth and the Truth of Your Holy Catholic Church so that others might be saved.

Rely on the Spirit to prudently proclaim Christ

Realize: To withstand the attacks on His men who testify to the Truth, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is given to every Catholic man when he is baptized and offers a man who remains in a state of grace the many Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit to help him hear and do the will of God. 

Believe: Reflect upon the need to Pray for the Holy Spirit (CCC 2670-2672).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Prudence, so I can prudently ask for and rely on the help of the Holy Spirit as I take up my mission to evangelize others; help me develop the ability to use my reason to analyze situations and events, shrewdly take action, and endure persecutions and victoriously proclaim Your truth through the Spirit.