We are Witnesses of the Risen Lord

04-18-2021From the PastorFr. James Aboyi, V.C.

We live at a time when we are constantly under some form of surveillance cameras from cell phones, in vehicles, in buildings, on the road, from satellites, etc. In a way, surveillance cameras help keep us safe and make work easier for law enforcement. Many people today have made millions of dollars just by capturing video coverage of important incidents, then selling them to the media. In a way, video cameras are better eyewitnesses than the human eye as videos cannot lie.

The Gospel today emphasizes the role of the Apostles as eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. We are told that when the two disciples met the Risen Lord on their way to Emmaus, they returned back to Jerusalem to share the experience with the rest of the Apostles. In the course of sharing their story, Jesus himself appeared among them and greeted them, “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36). He then reminded them that they are eyewitnesses of the Resurrection, “You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:48). Jesus empowered and commissioned them to go and share the stories of their eyewitness account with others.

Being an eyewitness is like two sides of a coin. One side is the witnessing which is the personal experience and knowledge of an event. The other side is the ability to give an accurate account of the experience to others. That we are called to be witnesses of the Risen Lord means we are called fi rst to have a personal encounter with Christ, and then to share the experience with others. Unfortunately, many Christians today mostly focus on having a personal encounter with Jesus but are afraid to share the experience of their faith and encounter with others. St. Peter reminds us, “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame” (1 Pet 3:15-16). Faith is like a flame: the more a piece of wood shares its fl ame with the wood surrounding it, the brighter it burns and the farther it ignites; however, the flame dims quickly when one piece of wood burns alone.

Thank you and remain blessed,
Fr. James