“And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer” (John 16:8-10).
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus continues His teaching on the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness. In other words, the Holy Spirit ministers to our hearts making us aware of our sinfulness as well as our unrighteousness.
If you have ever sincerely felt bad about something you did or didn’t do when you ought, then you have heard from the Holy Spirit. Strive to obey this voice constantly pushing you to do right and to repent when you do wrong.
The less you follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the less you hear from Him. It can get so bad that you not only stop hearing from the Holy Spirit, you become even hostile to the presence of the Holy Spirit; simply put, you become possessed by another kind of spirit. This was the case of the demoniac who could not stand Jesus in the synagogue (Cf. Mark 1:23-27, Luke 4:33-36).
Constantly practice the art of listening to the Holy Spirit. Learn to the call on the Holy Spirit at all times and avoid whatever would be unpleasant to the Holy Spirit. Remember that as a Christian, “you are a fellow citizen with the saints and members of the household of God … in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
Even in moments of trouble, call on the Holy Spirit for help (Cf. Psalm 46:1). In our first reading, Paul and Silas found themselves in prison for doing the work of God. Rather than fall into despair, they burst into singing and praying. At midnight, there was a great manifestation of the Spirit. All the prison doors were opened and the chains of all the prisoners there were unfastened.
Today, some Christians believe wrongly that prayers are only effective at midnight. While it is not wrong to pray at night, let us bear in mind that this was purely the work of the Holy Spirit whose power is not limited to the midnight hour. The Holy Spirit comes to our help and He can manifest at any time He so chooses.
Child of God, avoid the use of loudspeakers at night. Speakers are meant to amplify your voice so that the people within the church can hear you not because God has any hearing problem. You have a right to pray but the people living in the neighbourhood also have a right to sleep. Even Jesus told us to pray in secret. It is faith, not volume that counts. In the end, even the jailer and his entire household were baptised into the faith.
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and enkindle in us your Sacred Fire. Amen. Bible Study: Acts 16:22-34, Psalm 138 and John 16:5-11).