Fr Paul reads from John’s Gospel (15:26-16:4) in which Jesus says when Holy Spirit comes, ‘he will be my witness and you, too, will be my witnesses’.Like Saturday’s reflection, Fr Paul says, the theme of persecution is in today’s reading but at the same time there is now the promise of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Paraclete. The word ‘paraclete’ means advocate or intercessor. So, the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Paraclete is to be the backbone or the mainstay of Christians and will be the substitute for, or the presence of, the physical Jesus. The Holy Spirit will make clear to disciples the meaning and implications of the message of Jesus. The Holy Spirit, the paraclete, will give us the strength the confront opposition when persecution takes place. The Holy Spirit will strengthen us to speak out. However, no strength will come from the Holy Spirit unless our own spirit is moved to make a stand. Our own resolve to put ourselves at risk when we are to bear witness to Jesus is also needed, too. Fr Paul says, as we begin this 6th week of our Easter season, we ask for the Holy Spirit to be with us and to strengthen us to proclaim our faith.
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