And you, He says, shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning.
The Holy Ghost will give testimony, and you also shall give testimony. For since you were with Me from the beginning, you can preach that which you have seen; and that you do not so now is because you have not yet the fulness of this Spirit. He shall give testimony of me, and you shall give testimony of me. And the charity of God that is poured forth into your hearts by the Spirit that will be given to you, shall give you courage to give testimony.
This had indeed been lacking in Peter till then, when terrified at the questioning of the servant maid he had not had the power to give true testimony, but, contrary to his promises, was driven rather by grievous fear to deny him three times. Fear such as this has no place in charity, for true charity casts out fear (Rom. v. 6; I Jn. iv. 18). And thus it was that previous to the Passion of the Lord his servile fear was put to the test by the serving woman. After the Lord's Resurrection his generous love was tested by the Prince of generosity (John xxi. 15); and because of fear then he was terrified, but here restored to calm; there he denies Whom he loved, here he showed his love for Him Whom he had denied.
But even this very love was weak and narrow, till it was enlarged and made strong by the Holy Spirit. And after the fulness of grace was poured into his soul, which before was so lukewarm, the spirit within burned to bear witness to Christ, and unsealed the trembling lips that had withheld the truth, so that while all on whom the Spirit had descended spoke in various tongues, and while the multitude of the Jews stood round about them, he shone out above all the rest in bearing witness to Christ, and confounded those who had slain Him by his witness to the Resurrection (Acts ii. 5).
Should anyone desire to contemplate this so meaningful divine wonder let him read the Acts of the Apostles. There let him with wonder see Peter proclaiming Him for denying Whom he had grieved. There he will see that tongue, changed from cowardliness to confidence, from servitude to freedom, converting to the praise of Christ the tongues of so many that were enemies; of whom one had led him to denial, being unable to stand fast before it. In short, such splendour of grace shone forth in him, such fulness of the Holy Spirit, such weight of most precious truth came forth from his mouth as he preached to them, that he made Jews who were enemies and slayers of Christ, and who formed part of that vast multitude, ready to die for Him; those by whom he had stood in fear of being put to death with Him.
This the Holy Spirit accomplished; promised beforehand, and then sent down upon them. It was these great and wondrous blessings the Lord contemplated when He said: They have both seen and hated both me and my Fattier; that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law, that they have hated me without cause. But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me; and you shall give testimony of me. For He by giving testimony, and by making most courageous witnesses of them, took away fear from Christ's friends, and changed the hate of His enemies to love.
Turning then to the Lord Our God, the Father Almighty, let us as best we can give thanks with all our hearts, beseeching Him that in His goodness He will mercifully hear our prayers, by His grace drive evil from our thoughts and actions, increase our faith, grant us His holy inspirations, and lead us to joy without end, through His Son Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
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