Sin, justice and judgement

Jn 16:5-11

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’  But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Today we hear again one of those statements of the Lord that the disciples had to learn to understand. Their hearts were full of grief, but none of them dared to ask where Jesus was going. Perhaps they were afraid of an answer that would deepen the pain in which they were already immersed.

But the Lord wanted to involve them in His plan for the salvation of humanity. They are called to cooperate in a special way in God’s work. That is why Jesus wants to reveal to them how everything will continue after His death and resurrection, how the work of salvation will continue after His departure.

The sending of the Holy Spirit will be an essential part of this work of salvation, and the Lord explains to them what His task will be: “When he comes, he will convince[a] the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged”.

According to this statement of the Lord, there can be no doubt that unbelief is a sin. It certainly refers to the unbelief of those who, having heard the message of salvation in Jesus Christ, deliberately reject it and refuse to believe. They are therefore under the dominion of sin. Sin is separation from God. Those who live in this state cannot recognise and accept the light of God and thus spoil the graces that God offers them. The Holy Spirit is that light, reminding us of all that Jesus said and did, inviting people to follow Christ and making them see even when they do not act according to Him.

We can see His action in our own way of following Christ: the Holy Spirit always leads us to Christ. When we go astray and fall into sin, the Spirit shows us and leads us to the cross for forgiveness.

The Spirit’s intention, then, is not to judge people when He convicts the world of sin. On the contrary, the mission of the Holy Spirit is the fulfilment and continuation of the mission of Jesus, who came to save the world and to forgive sin.

It is therefore part of the work of the Holy Spirit to bring people to Jesus, to make them aware of their sins and to lead them on the path of repentance so that they can be healed of their ills.

It is also part of justice that when the Lord has finished His work, He returns to the Father and takes with Him, as God and man, all those who have accepted the faith and prepares a place for them in heaven. To Him has been given all power in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18), and He does indeed exercise this power. When souls accept salvation, this power of love is made concrete on earth, for the Lord has fulfilled all righteousness. Everyone can be saved by the Lord’s death and resurrection, provided he accepts this offer of grace. This work which the Lord has accomplished on earth continues in the mission of the Church.

Judgment has already been passed on Satan. His dominion has been broken at the root through the Cross, and this victory must continue to be realised on earth. The Holy Spirit has also been at work, bringing to fruition Christ’s work of redemption and demonstrating His power over demons. Therefore, the Church is called to carry out the ministry of liberation in the power of the Holy Spirit.

NOTE: Since today is the 7th day of the month, which we always dedicate in a special way to our Heavenly Father, we want to invite you to listen to the “3 minutes for Abba”, which is a small impulse that we publish daily in order to deepen the relationship of trust with God the Father. You can find them in the following links:



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