Grace to you!
Today, I reflect on the connection between personal encounter with the Lord and passionate, bold witnessing. I will use Saint Peter’s testimony when he and John were brought before “court” as an example.
Yesterday, I mentioned that one has to witness the Lord in order to be a bold witness to others of what they’ve seen. This evangelization principle is essential to the quality and audacity of the witness. In our relationships, we realize that familiarity with a person increases the boldness of our testimony about the person.
These days, I have written quite a few reference letters for friends or former students of mine who are seeking employment or seeking admission into graduate schools. Some reference letters take me less than 20 minutes to write. Others take me up to two hours. I realize that the better I know the candidate, I am able to write more freely and boldly about their talents and skills. The less I know about the candidates, the less confident I am about my reference of them.
This kind of thing happens in our spiritual life as well. You would notice it is when the faith which we profess has become our own personal profession as well, that you would be passionate about it. In your life as a believer, the “we believe” has to be truly “I believe” for it to be authentic and audacious.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was so striking to the apostles, the first-witnesses of our faith. They had a personal connection with the Lord’s mighty deeds. They knew it was true. It wasn’t a delusion.
One of the impacts of the Resurrection is awareness of our spiritual blessings in Christ. This awareness inspires in us a new kind of courage. It is deeply personal though it binds us together with the community of faith. It is the courage that is rooted in the fact that we have seen and heard and have come to believe. Saint Paul tells us that faith comes by hearing (Rm 10:17). The hearing is also the seeing and the experiencing of the workings of God in our lives and in the lives of others. It is the witnessing of the saving grace of God in Christ.
Such helps the believer to have a personal connection with the Resurrected Lord. This personal connection increases one’s level of boldness bearing witness to the saving grace of God. Our faith knowledge is bold as well. We speak because we love. We speak because our knowledge, though it is shared by the community of faith, is deeply personal as well.
When Peter and John were brought before the learned and experienced men in Jerusalem temple to defend themselves as to why they preached in the name of Jesus, testifying he died and resurrected, the people noticed their incredible boldness. Scripture reports: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Peter and John didn’t know about the Lord and the Resurrection. They knew the Lord and the Resurrection. I would ask: Do you know the Lord or simply know about the Lord?
Praying that God would give us the grace to know Christ and the power of his Resurrection. May the Lord continue to deepen our knowledge of him who died and resurrected as he said he would so we can be bold witnesses of who we know. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Easter Octave Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Mk 16:9-15]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.