God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed….If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world. - Antonin Scalia: (1936 –2016: was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death in 2016)
Gospel Text: (JN 15:26—16:4A)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
"I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you."
Pope Francis tells us that, by our baptism, all of us are called to be witnesses of Christ, that we should be ready to go out wherever to preach the Good News of salvation. He tells us that we should proclaim our faith first in our own lives and actions so that when we preach to others they could listen and believe our words.
Today's readings invite us to be witnesses of Christ. In the first reading from Mass God fearing Lydia and her household are baptized after the preaching and witnessing of Paul. In the Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, to be a witness to Christ and to assist us in our witness to Christ. Jesus warns his disciples to "keep from stumbling and falling away"; he warns them they would meet opposition, even persecution: "they will put you out of Jewish communities. Still more, the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will claim to be serving God."
Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid, especially with the Helper with them. This same Spirit is also with us.