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Catholic religion every where, to do whatsoever lies in our power, by prayer, and gifts, and personal service, to further the Church's missions. It is a part of the work our Lord has entrusted to us for the sooner bringing about His second coming and the restitution of all things.

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"But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost." St. Mark xiii. 11.

Exposition.-Swete says: "The Lord returns to the personal trials awaiting the disciples. First of these was the fear with which inexperienced provincials would anticipate an appearance before a Roman judge, whether proconsul or imperator; on their way to the court they would be distracted by anxiety as to their defence. The Lord provides against this: the Holy Spirit will be your Advocate, and speak by your mouths. His word is literally, Be not anxious beforehand. . . . It must be borne in mind that both the command to speak off-hand, and the promise of divine assistance in doing so, are limited to an occasion when effective premeditation would be impossible.”

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And Sadler: But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand: this, it is to be remembered, is not said of teaching and preaching generally, but simply of answering when they are examined before magistrates. They were poor men, and could not afford to hire an advocate to plead for them; their adversaries, on the contrary, could engage men like Tertullus, versed in all the arts of flattery, and well skilled in making the worse appear the better reason.

The Lord here, then, engages to furnish them with an Advocate Who should speak in them, and enable them to bring before their judges just such arguments as He saw would best promote the spread of the truth.

The disciples, inexperienced and unskilled in speaking, are directed to the Spirit of all wisdom. This does not, of course, exclude the use of the natural powers—these, on the contrary, are to be sanctified by this Spirit. The word take thought, or be anxious, must therefore refer to the anxious collecting of one's own strength, as that is seen in the unbelieving natural man, who is ignorant of any higher source of life and power.

In order the more to confirm them in the conviction of such help, He adds, It is not ye that speak. The isolated individuals then disappear altogether in the great struggle between light and darkness;

God's cause is at stake, and that is pleaded by His Spirit in these instruments which He consecrates to Himself."

Gould points out that, “The etymological sense of the Greek word used fits in here; do not be distracted beforehand; do not let your attention be divided and drawn off from the more important matters before you. What to speak will be given to you at the time of your trial. The fact that it is the Holy Spirit Which is to speak in them, shows that it is not their defence of which the Lord is thinking, but of the testimony to the kingdom, which is the divine purpose in bringing them there."

St. Chrysostom says, in St. Thomas: "To the foregoing topics of consolation, He adds another, not a little one; that they should not say, How shall we be able to persuade such men as these, when they shall persecute us? He bids them be of good courage respecting their answer.

Thus He raises them to the dignity of the prophets, who have spoken by the Spirit of God.”

And St. Jerome: “When then we are brought before judges for Christ's sake, we ought to offer only our will for Christ. But Christ, Who dwelleth in us, speaks for Himself, and the grace of the Holy Spirit will minister in our answer."

Bengel says: “We deduce the fact of the

inspiration of words, not from the how or what of St. Matthew's rendering of this saying, but from the actual promise itself. In that hour, if not before. Many are most conscious of spiritual power at times when they have to impart it to others.”

And Bruce: “The Apostles, placed at the bar of kings and rulers, are not to be anxious beforehand, even as to what they shall say; not to speak of what shall happen to them as the result of the trial. Their apologies will be given to them. They will not be the real speakers, but the Holy Ghost.”

Alford says: "It is to be observed that in the great work of God in the world, human individuality sinks down and vanishes, and God alone, His Christ, His Spirit, is the great Worker."

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First Thought.-We are not likely in these days to be delivered up to the councils, and rulers, and kings, in order to answer for our faith; nevertheless it not infrequently comes about that the believer finds himself in hostile company, perhaps among those much more learned and worldly-clever than himself. So the humble priest may be called upon among scientific men and great thinkers to show why his religion is not unphilosophical, or illogical.

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