Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!

Fourth Sunday after Easter - 6 May AD 2012


“[The Holy Ghost] will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment.
Of sin, because they believed not in me:
and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall see me no longer:
and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged.”[1]

    Understanding these words of our Lord take a little effort.  It does not help that some translations substitute the word “convict” for “convince,” and neither seems to fit directly into the context.  The word in the Latin Vulgate is “arguet[2] and my Latin dictionary tells me that word may be translated by “make clear,” “expose,” “accuse,” “rebuke,” or “convince.”  Our Lord is saying that the Holy Ghost will give us a more clear understanding of the things necessary to salvation and to pleasing God.

    In the notes that accompany his revision of the Douay Rheims Bible, Bishop Richard Challoner, Vicar Apostolic of the London District, explained that

    The Holy Ghost, by his coming brought over many thousands, first, to a sense of their sin in not believing in Christ. Secondly, to a conviction of the justice of Christ, now sitting at the right hand of his Father. And thirdly, to a right apprehension of the judgment prepared for them that choose to follow Satan, who is already judged and condemned.[3]

    While the passage seems to speak to the action of the Holy Ghost in the few days after Pentecost, when the Apostles baptized several thousand converts, it is appropriate to consider the passage as it has been fulfilled over the centuries, right down to our own time.  As Saint James told us in today’s Epistle, with God, “the Father of lights ... there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”[4]  So the action of the Holy Ghost on men and women today is much the same as it was at the time of the Apostles.

    The Holy Ghost made clear the sinfulness of the rejection of Christ by the Jewish people.  Not only had they been prepared for His coming by Moses and the Prophets, but they had the opportunity to witness His powers firsthand.  This man Jesus, who identified Himself with God the Father, gave ample demonstrations of power that could come from nowhere but God—the healing of the sick, the blind, the dumb, and the lame;  the turning of water into wine, walking on it, and calming its waves in a tempest;  even the resurrection of the dead, others’ resurrection as well as His own.  To deny His divinity for fear of losing status at the Temple, or for fear that the Romans might be upset was sinful, and the Holy Ghost brought this home to the first converts.

    In our time we must rely on the testimony of the ancients as to the miracles, but even our natural intellects are adequate to know that there is a God, and to help us to see the reasonableness of those things that come down to us through Scripture and Tradition.  Those who have this opportunity to know Jesus Christ, yet deny Him for motives of convenience, pride, or pleasure sin as seriously as those who knew Him in the flesh.

    That Christ reigns in heaven “at the right hand of God the Father Almighty demonstrates His perfect justice.  For centuries, people looked to the Church to proclaim the justice of Christ throughout the world.  Before the Seventeenth century “Peace of Westphalia” the Popes were called upon to broker the terms of peace between the warring nations of  Christendom.[5]

    Today, the nations of the world look to the Godless entities of a would‑be world government.  More often than not, their “peace keeping” efforts lead to the slaughter of many innocent people.  Half of the world was sold into communist slavery at the end of World War II.  The alleged “world authorities” were quick to start a “police action” in Korea, and then another in the Congo where they “consistently bombed, machine-gunned, and looted civilian targets: hospitals, ambulances, churches, schools, homes, cars.”[6]  Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda, the Persian Gulf—all have horror stories to tell.[7]  Those with access to information better than the Network “News” know that since globalist authorities intervened in Egypt and Libya, Moslem mobs have been burning Christian churches, homes, huts, and shops and smashing Christian gravestones.[8]  We must pray for the Holy Ghost to convince the world of Jesus’ justice—that there cannot be peace without the Prince of Peace.

    Finally, Bishop Challoner referred to “the judgment prepared for them that choose to follow Satan, who is already judged and condemned.”  What utter folly!  Over the centuries we have occasionally heard of people who deliberately chose to ally with the Devil—but, most people would avoid an actual “alliance with the devil” and the phrase is usually just metaphorical.  But certainly there are people who behave as though there were no God, and no natural moral law, not even the obvious law that society cannot function if people go about beating, killing, lying, and cheating one another.  In some sense they are followers of Satan.  Even more so, those who would use wealth or civil authority to compel others to oppose God and God’s law are followers of Satan.  And, again, if anything has changed since the time of the Apostles, it is with man who has become more arrogant, and not with changeless God.

    So today we pray that the Holy Ghost will “convince” us of sin, justice, and judgment—that He will do the same for those who live like pagans in the modern world.  God is “without change or shadow of alteration,” so we pray:

“O God, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will: grant unto Thy people to love what Thou commandest, and to desire what thou dost promise; that amidst the various changing allurments of the world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys abide.”[9] 
That we will avoid sin, injustice, and condemnation with the Devil.


[1]   Gospel:  John xvi: 514

[2]   et cum venerit ille arguet mundum de peccato et de iustitia et de iudicio.

[3]   Bishop Challoner’s note to John xvi: 8 in the Douay Rheims Bible.

[4]   James i: 1721

[7]   Dale Van Atta, “The Folly Of The United Nations (U.N.) Peacekeeping,” Readers Digest, November, 1995    “Why The UN Isn't A Solution” by Phyllis Schlafly

[9]   Collect of the day.


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