Tuesday, May 12 ~ Sixth Week in the Season of Easter
Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs; Saint Pancras, Martyr
Holy Gospel: John 16:5-11 Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”
Meditation: Why does God seem far from us at times? Separation and loss of relationship often lead to grief and pain. The apostles were filled with sorrow when Jesus spoke about his imminent departure. Jesus explained that it was for their sake that he must leave them and return to his Father. He promised, however, that they would never be left alone. He will send in his place the best of friends, the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39). By sending the Holy Spirit to his followers, the Lord Jesus makes his presence known to us in a new and on-going way. We are not left as orphans, but the Lord himself dwells within us through the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:9; 6:16b). Jesus tells his disciples three very important things about the work of the Holy Spirit – to convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. The original word for convince also means convict. The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier. He makes us holy as God is holy. He does this first by convicting us of our sin and by bringing us humbly to the foot of the Cross. The Spirit convinces us of God’s love and forgiveness and of our utter dependence on God for his mercy and grace. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us from the error of our sinful ways and to show us the way of love and truth.
Prayer ~ Saints Nereus and Achilleus: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who know the great courage of the glorious Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus in confessing you, may experience their loving intercession for us in your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer ~ Saint Pancras: May your Church rejoice, O God, confident in the intercession of the Martyr Saint Pancras, and by his glorious prayers may she persevere in devotion to you and stand ever firm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: The Jews who condemned Jesus as a heretic and blasphemer thought they were serving God rather than sinning when they crucified Jesus. When the gospel was later preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37), many were pricked in their heart and convicted of their sin. What made them change their mind about Jesus? It is the work of the Holy Spirit to both convict us of wrongdoing and to convince us of God’s truth. The Spirit convinces us of the righteousness of Christ, backed by the fact that Jesus rose again and went to his Father. The Holy Spirit also convicts us of judgment. The Spirit gives us the inner and unshakable conviction that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. God’s judgments are just and good. When we heed his judgments we find true peace, joy and reconciliation with God. Do you allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your life that he may set you free from the grip of sin and set you ablaze with the fire of God’s love?