Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
(Acts 16:22-34; John 16:5-11)
Today’s first reading from Acts serves as testimony to its accompanying gospel passage. In the gospel Jesus tells his disciples that the Spirit will come to assist them. He says that it will prove the world wrong in its judgments about sin, righteousness, and condemnation. Jesus’ reasoning is subtle, but the story of Paul and the jailer illustrates what he means.
Regarding sin the Roman world of Philippi saw Christians as worshipping a false God. So when that God frees Paul and Silas from jail, Christians are vindicated. In turn, the people who refuse to believe in Jesus are convicted of sin. Then Paul’s intervention stopping the jailer from committing suicide demonstrates the righteousness s of Christians. Meanwhile the cultural value that moves one to kill himself is shown to be wanting. Finally, the Christian movement has made its start in Europe. Not only the Jews who gathered at the river but pagans as well are turning to Jesus. Satan has been condemned is on the run.
It is true that Jesus’ triumph is not clearly evident these days if it ever was. An increasing number of young and old say they have left the Church. Morals seem to be deteriorating throughout the world. But Christ is gaining ascendancy in many parts of Africa and Asia. The world also recognizes Pope Francis as its moral guide. There is no need to feel defeated. Quite the contrary, we should double our efforts to show that Jesus is the way to happiness.