Jesus Calls Each of Us to Give Witness to Him

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Year A

Fr. Jim homily

2 minute read


Acts 13:13-35; Ps. 89; Jn. 13:16-20

Today, Jesus teaches his disciples that no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. We see this exemplified in St. Paul’s missionary preaching. As Jesus speaks on behalf of the Father, St. Paul speaks on behalf of Jesus. He does so in a way that captures all of salvation history, highlighting all the ways in which God had been watching over his people as a Father. From their freedom from slavery in Egypt to their testing in the desert to their entrance into the promised land to the judges, prophets, and kings given as their shepherds, to John the Baptist, the great front runner, and ultimately to Jesus, the Holy One of God, the heir to the throne of David, the Messiah, St. Paul shows how the whole of salvation history leads to Christ. Indeed, “No slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him." Indeed, all of these give testimony to the One True God.

Jesus calls us to the same discipleship as Paul, a discipleship that acknowledges that the life of the Christian is not about us, but about the one who sends us. In our case, the one who calls us is the one who sends us: Jesus Christ. And how are we sent? As witnesses to the words Jesus spoke on behalf of the Father. As Moses, the prophets, the kings, John the Baptist all pointed to the coming of the Messiah, we proclaim his second coming. We rejoice in his resurrection and wait in joyful hope for his return.

How might we give witness today, especially during a pandemic? This may seem obvious, but to start, we spend time with Jesus in prayer, whether that be through virtual participation in a streamed Mass, praying by ourselves, or with our families. If the weather permits, we might spend some of our prayer time outdoors, appreciating God’s creation, or maybe reading a good spiritual author on Kindle. While this is something we do mostly by ourselves, it is a kind of silent witness that every Christian ought to do. And when we do this, it will have an impact on those around us. It may be subtle at first, but may eventually lead to a deeper conversation about our faith in Christ with family or friends. So, let us be filled with joy today as we, like St. Paul, have also been called to give witness to Christ.

Given during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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