Daily Gospel Reflection – Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 10:16-23
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” *United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit will help us when we face persecution. Speaking to his disciples the night before he dies, Jesus says that he and his Father will send another Parakletos (Advocate). That word, stemming from kaleo (to call) and para (for, or on behalf of), designates something like a lawyer, someone who would plead on behalf of another, who would support, advocate, encourage.
Jesus is saying that while he will depart physically from the scene, he and his Father will send the Spirit as a friend. This is the advocate who will inspire Christians up and down the ages.
When the martyrs went to their deaths, it was with the help of the Holy Spirit; when the missionaries went to proclaim the faith in hostile lands, it was the Holy Spirit who pleaded on their behalf; when Edith Stein went with her Gestapo captors to Auschwitz, she too went with the Holy Spirit. And that same Spirit is with you today, right now.