Tuesday May 11 2021
6th Week of Easter
Acts 16:22-34; Ps. 137:1-3,7-8;
Jn. 16:5-11 (Ps Wk II)
Jesus encourages the disciples about the future by assuring them of the Advocate’s presence when they will be under pressure and overcome with sorrow at his departure. As yet, they do not feel or realise the full meaning of his going back to his Father, and only faith in his departure as a return to the Father can overcome their situation of grief. Besides, only when he is gone will the helping Spirit come to strengthen their faith.
When the Holy Spirit comes, he will be a witness for the prosecution against “the world”, for in pointing out the guilt of “the world” and the forces of unbelief, he will strengthen the disciples' faith. He does this by convincing Christian disciples that deliberate unbelief in Christ is a fundamental sin. But before the hostility of unbelief, Jesus’ disciples will be exposed to stumbling blocks, and they will be tempted to give up. But the convincing action of the Holy Spirit will come to their aid and strengthen their faith in Jesus.
While they may be condemned by human tribunals or trials, in the eyes of God and on the level of faith, it is they who will judge the forces of evil and unbelief in their hearts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
An excellent example of how the Holy Spirit strengthens Paul and Silas’ faith in the face of the hostility and unbelief shown against them by the people is provided today in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles in the first reading.
Holy Spirit, guide and strengthen me.
\"Your mustard seed is what the Reign of God is about. Your little faith, your little effort is enough. Give your little bit and stand by amazed as you see what God will do with it. Your mustard seed will flourish.\"