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The Need To Be A Witness

     The Acts of the apostles is a book within the bible that tells us about the structure, victories and struggles of the early Christian church. After Christ died, none of the apostles really knew what to do next, except hide. For weeks, they hid in fear, and became confused. But after his resurrection the disciples were commissioned by Jesus multiple times, to become witnesses for the faith. This commissioning was a necessity for the survival of the church, and it still is.

    Jesus had, for three years, trained twelve men what it meant to be Christian. He taught them a new way of living, one that did not include division, hatred or a system based on being self centred. Rather, Jesus instituted a lifestyle that is welcoming, kind, humble and based on sincere faith in God which is proven through actions. He spent his time on earth forming these men to become servant leaders, like he was, after he left. However, it was their fears of the unknown and their doubts of the truth of this Christ event that made the apostles reluctant to accept this role. So, in todays Gospel we find the Apostles hiding in a locked room.

     It is in this locked room that Jesus comes to the apostles and greets them. It is in their fear and doubt that Jesus meets them. He enters by saying, " Peace be with you" to help calm the disciples. Right before Jesus entered, the two disciples came back from Emmaus telling the apostles about what just happened.  Right then, Jesus appears again, to extinguish any fear and doubt within them. At the end of the Gospel, Jesus commissions the apostles to go and "proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins... to all the nations."

    In todays first reading, we hear another of Peters speeches to the crowds of peoples. In this speech Peter proclaims about the death and resurrection of Christ, the messiah promised by the God of our ancestors. He concludes with the phrase: " Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out." Peter can proclaim this because he himself has experienced it. He has experienced the loving, sweet, and heart-warming forgiveness that only God can give. Peter experienced Jesus, and so he shares this experience; he witnesses to the faith, and to the encounter.

     Like Peter, we to have experienced sin, and through Christ we are continuously forgiven. Pope Francis has said that Christ never tiers of forgiving us, it is us the tier of asking for forgiveness. It is when we have become fearful, saddened and doubtful that Christ will come to us. He is there all the time, and continuously making himself known, however, he is even more prominent in the times of fear, and doubt. It is through Christ and his forgiveness ( which we acquire through his bride, the church) that we become witnesses to the faith.

    In the time era that we live in presently, their is a more dire need for Catholics to witness to the truth of Christ. We are able to witness to Christ by first experiencing him in our lives and in our prayer. We witness to Christ by the way we live and the way we use our language. It is in the affectionate signs that we share that we bare a witness to Christ. Also, especially in this day of age, we must be a witness to the Forgiveness  and acceptance that Christ offered. Christ taught his apostles that they should forgive not seven times but seventy times seven, meaning that we should forgive continuously.

     So today, as we continue to live our lives may we come to bare witness to Christ outside of the church walls. May our lives be a witness to the forgiveness and acceptance that Christ alone can offer. May we dedicate ourselves to accepting the will of the Father and become a witness to his greatness!

Have a wonderful Sunday!


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