Thursday, 5 June 2014


As Jesus approached his HOUR, when he would defeat Satan by his perfect submission to the will (the Truth) of the Father, by rejecting Satan's seductions, characterized in the threefold temptations in the wilderness, Jesus reveals the Father's plan of salvation for all peoples.

The most popular depictions of Satan is that of a fierce, fiery, beast devouring his victims. A more accurate depiction might look more like one who is benignly teaching another what well may be true - but not what is the whole truth.

Now (Satan) was the most cunning of all ... He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from "ANY" of the trees in the garden’?” Gen 3:1

Chesterton rightly noted that the Devil takes facts that are true and strings them together in such a way that they lead to a conclusion which is false. As sincere and intelligent as one may be, we are no match for the "Father of Lies". The scripture is the Word of God, but see how Satan twists it to endorse his deception. 

This is why Pentecost is so important. It is God's plan that the Spirit will lead us to what is TRUTH. 
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. John 16: 12-13
In Jesus' priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus refers to the "world". But this is not the world that is God's good creation of the natural order. Rather, it is the worldly systems created by man to reorder nature for his own purposes; systems that are inevitably so vulnerable to the deceits of the Devil. 

We live out our lives in this world and so we must deal each day with its complexity and its confusing mix of fact and error. Jesus tells his disciples that they do not have to confront this challenge alone, he is sending the the Spirit to guide them.

In John 16 Jesus refers to the Spirit as "the Advocate" and "the Spirit of Truth".
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.“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.  But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. John 16:7
Using the term "Advocate" to describe the Spirit is most revealing to us. An Advocate is akin to a defense lawyer who stands at your side, before the judge, and defends you again the false accusations being leveled against you. (Remember the text in Revelations: 
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Rev 12:10
All through our journey of faith we must cope with falsehood in the world, attempting to persuade us to follow. Without the Advocate at our side, challenging such falsehood, pointing out the error and deception it contains, our faith cannot survive, intact, strong and vital. The Spirit is present to us in many ways, principally through the magisterium of the Church. Remaining in communion with the Church is vital. So too is personal prayer. It tunes our hearts to the Voice, the voice of the Spirit of Truth.

Jesus my Lord, I confess to you and to all the world my need for your presence in my life. I am alone and in darkness without you. I am influenced and controlled by the many forces that surround me. Even though I struggle against them, it is sin that so easily dominates my life. Who can save me but you alone, my Lord and my God. Deliver me from the Evil One. Touch my life with that power which flows from your resurrection. Cause your Holy Spirit to be born in me anew. Prince of Peace and Lord of Glory reign now in my heart. Baptize me with your Holy Spirit and Fire. Raise me up to a New Life in you. Amen.

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