REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 16, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Lk. 12:11-12
The words of Jesus to His disciples in our gospel reference today was lived by him to the full. When He was arrested, interrogated, falsely condemned, and questioned by the Chief Priest, and Herod, Jesus spoke at sometimes and other times, He was silent. Jesus never prepared a defense but relied upon His perfect union with the Holy Spirit and with the Father to be led at every moment in His human nature.
With great confidence, Jesus entrusted his disciples to the care of the Holy Spirit whose main goal is to lead believers into the truth and remind them of all Jesus had said. The Holy Spirit would be with believers when they face hostility, opposition, hash judgement, and persecution in the world. The Holy Spirit would be their source of strength, wisdom, and consolation in the world.
Believers may or may not be arrested for their faith and put on trial for being Christian by the civil authorities, it is possible that they will experience various other forms of interrogation and condemnation at times during which they are challenged to respond. And more likely, if they are judged by another, they may be tempted to defend themselves in anger, attacking back.
As Christians, the words of Jesus today, should have the effect of calming us and reassuring us during any and every experience of judgment from people. In the same way we should avoid rash judgement on our neighbors too. If in any situation we are judged by another, even if what they say has truth to it, it is important that we not react with defensiveness and anger, unless the Holy Spirit has unmistakably led you to do so.
Jesus’ words today remain true that as Christians we are not alone, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we as believer have great access to the throne of grace. In other words, as Christians we must trust that the Holy Spirit will always lead us as we humbly and continually seek to follow His every prompting. This is only possible if we have built a firm habit of attentiveness to the Voice of God within our conscience.
Reflect, today, upon the ways that you have responded in the past to the judgment of another. Try to call to mind specific moments when this has happened. Did you respond with similar judgments? Were you filled with anger? Did you brood over injury? Did you lose your peace of heart? If you have fallen into these temptations, then commit yourself in faith to believe what Jesus says today. Trust Him. Trust that He will be with you in those difficult moments in the future and pray that you will be graced to respond only as the Holy Spirit directs you.
Lord, You were put on trial, judged and falsely condemned. Yet in all of that, You were the Innocent Lamb Who always loved and spoke truth with perfection. When I experience judgment in my life, please fill me with peace of heart and trust in Your promise that the Holy Spirit will be with me, inspiring me and leading me in accord with Your perfect will. Holy Spirit, I abandon myself to You now and always. Jesus, I trust in You.