The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"), in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become "the father of many nations," according to what was said, "So numerous shall your descendants be."
Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before he angels of God; but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say."
Abraham's hoping against hope must have seemed odd, even to Sarah his wife. Whoever would think that this elderly couple would found a family and be the source of a great nation? Anyone without Abraham's faith would call his hope simply ridiculous. When a situation turns out to be humanly hopeless, we should recall Abraham's persevering hope.
Paul invites us to remember Abraham and to Sarah, so that God may have pity on us and turn our desert existence into more fruitful ways. Abraham himself never witnessed how marvellous this Promised Land would be. He saw only his son Isaac. In a way, Abraham's faith had to reach beyond death to the resurrection of the dead. For this reason Jesus appeals to the example of Abraham for belief in the resurrection.
People closely united to Jesus realize how disastrous is a word spoken against the Holy Spirit, who is God's personal presence with us, to inspire us with courage and vision at any moment of crisis. "The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment all that needs to be said."
The gospel has Jesus calling his disciples to be courageous in bearing witness to him, in declaring themselves for him in the presence of others. He also promises them that in witnessing to him they won't be left to their own resources. Rather, when the time comes the Holy Spirit will teach them what they must say.
Declaring our belief today can be difficult because of the climate in which we live which is so often hostile to faith and religion, and our Catholic faith in particular. It is easy to become discouraged when there is so much hostile and negative press around. We can easily be cowed into silence and invisibility. The gospel today suggests that we must work to resist that temptation. It calls on us to declare ourselves for the Lord publicly and it promises help in doing that, the help of the Holy Spirit. As Paul says, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We need to be open to a daily Pentecost in our lives so that we have the courage to declare for the Lord who gave himself entirely, even though it meant submitting to death on a cross.