Pope: the Christian bears witness to Jesus, but "often" this provokes attacks and persecution
"The Spirit gives witness to Jesus. And each time we feel something in our heart that brings us closer to Jesus, it is the Spirit who is at work". It 'good to ask "that worldliness, easy things, the things that come directly from the father of lies, the prince of this world, sin, do not turn away from witness".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Christian, on impulse of the Holy Spirit, is called to give witness to Jesus, "but quite often this witness provokes attacks, provokes persecution”, on a large or small scale, those for which we give our life or those "of gossip and criticism”, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta. The Pope was commenting on a passage from the Acts of the Apostles that speaks of how the Lord opened the heart of a woman named Lydia, a trader from the city of Thyatira, who was listening to Paul's words.
"This woman felt something - commented Francis - she felt it within herself, which made her say: 'That's true! I agree with what he says this man, this man who gives witness to Jesus Christ. It’s true what he says!'. But who touched the heart of this woman? Who told you: 'Look, how it is true'? It was the Holy Spirit, which brought this woman to the conclusion that Jesus was the Lord; who helped this woman feel that her salvation was in the words of Paul; who made this woman feel as a witness. The Spirit gives witness to Jesus. And each time we feel something in our heart that brings us closer to Jesus, it is the Spirit who is at work".
The Gospel speaks of a double witness: that of the Spirit who gives us the testimony of Jesus Christ and our witness. Jesus invites the disciples not to be shocked, because witness brings persecution with it. From the "small persecutions of "gossip, criticism, to the big ones, of which "the history of the Church is full, leading Christians to prison or even leading them to lay down their lives". "It - says Jesus - is the price of Christian witness. 'They will expel you from the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think to render service to God '. The Christian, with the power of the Spirit, bears witness that the Lord lives, the Lord is Risen, that the Lord is among us, that the Lord celebrates His death, His resurrection with us, every time we come to the altar. The Christian bears witness, helped by the Spirit, in his daily life, with his way of acting. And the Christian witness continues. But often this witness provokes attacks, it provokes persecution. "
"The Holy Spirit that has enabled us to know Jesus - concluded the Pope - it is the same Spirit that urges us onward to make Him known, not so much with words, but with our life’s witness". "It would do us good to ask the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts, to give witness to Jesus; say to him: Lord, that I will not turn away from Jesus. Teach me what Jesus taught. Let me remember what Jesus said and did, and help me too, to bear witness to these things. That worldliness, easy things, the things that come directly from the father of lies, the prince of this world, sin, do not distance me from this witness".