A Cloud of Witnesses and Still Nobody Believes

In a court of law, witnesses are brought in front of the jury and judge to explain what they saw. If enough witnesses come forward in defense of the accused, he is more likely to be released. If more witnesses come forward against the accused, conviction is a near guarantee. In many cases, there are witnesses on sides of a case, so it is natural that we tend to believe the witnesses that confirm our existing belief rather than changing our opinion.

That is exactly what took place in the case of Christ’s Passion. The Gospel admits to the need of false witnesses being needed to convict Him. Then after His Resurrection the original witnesses, the guards, were paid to lie and cover up what they saw. Then Christ appeared to the Apostles and then to thousands in the City. STILL many CHOSE not to believe.

In those days, Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the word which he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest; not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” – Acts 10.34-43

In this one passage we understand both how the elites refused to believe the witnesses who saw Christ’s work, and the early Christians who believed the Apostles after the fact. Now lets fast forward to today. You may be tempted to think there are no witnesses to God’s work, but you would be mistaken. WE are His witnesses because we have not only experienced His Grace through out baptism and His constant forgiveness and mercy toward us, but we have seen His works in the countless miracles the Church has experienced.

Today is the commemoration of Saint Patrick the Bishop of Prussa, who was martyred in the 3rd century because he refused to deny Christ and worship the pagan Gods. He was thrown into a boiling natural spring but not wounded. Instead, the men who cast him in were burned. He was eventually beheaded for his faith. You would think hearing stories like this about the saints of the Church would cause more people to come forward and believe, but every day I meet people like the ancient elites who would rather stick to their own belief despite the witnesses to the contrary.

The only thing that remains is for us to Live A New Life In Christ AS His witnesses. If people will not believe the witness of the ancient Church written down, then our lives must become new stories for new witnesses to proclaim the work of Christ. Saint Thomas needed to see with his own eyes, and many today have the same need. So….let’s give it to them.

Let’s become martyrs for Christ. Not all martyrs were killed, but all martyrs were witnesses to Christ’s work. Just a friendly reminded that the word martyr MEANS witness. The best witness to Christ is the life we live, so let’s start living it. Do you truly love those you encounter in the street? Your love will be a witness to Christ’s work. Do you forgive those who offend you? Your forgiveness will be a witness to Christ’s work. Do you serve others? Your service will be a witness to Christ’s work. There will still be those who refuse to believe the witnesses, but at least we can offer them something to believe in.


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