Can I Get a Witness?

Can I Get a Witness?


“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.  He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.”  (John 1:6-8)

Last week, I was giving a reflection on this passage to 200 elementary-aged students at our Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) as part of our Advent Prayer Service.

I asked them, “When you hear the word ‘witness’, what do you think of?”

“A car accident!” was the first reply.

“Someone stealing something!” came next.

“Anyone have a more positive answer?” I questioned.

“How about a court case?” was the third answer.

“I guess that could go either way...” 

After thanking the students for their answers, I said this: “Witnessing involves two parts. The first part is indeed seeing something with your own eyes, like a car accident or someone stealing somthing.

"But the second part of being a witness means that you have to go out and tell someone what you saw. Otherwise, no one else will know!”

Being a Witness for Christ
I challenge myself to be a better witness all the time. I see God’s marvellous work in so many ways, whether it be in my family and friends, my relationships, or my work in youth and young adult ministry. 

But how often do I tell others about these marvellous works? What about the people who don’t know God? Or those who have a wavering belief in Him?

One place I love witnessing is through my other Twitter account @CanuckClay. While I purport to only tweet Canucks and other sports from there, I have no problem professing my faith and engaging people in discussion about my faith and beliefs. 

Our duty as Catholics is to be the face of Christ to everyone that we encounter.

Witness can (and should) be expressed in word and action, i.e. the life we live. Wouldn't it be cool if every single person that we meet walks away thinking to himself: “Man…what is up with her? Where does she get that sense of joy and love from? Whatever it is… I want some of that!”

Whether our family and friends are churched or unchurched, the way that we carry ourselves is a key component of witness. And lived witness opens people up to hear the spoken witness.

"Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers it is because they are witnesses." (EN 41)

Now that I think about it, it’s more than being the face of Christ. It’s being Christ-like completely.

Compliments like “you’re awesome” or “you’re a good friend” or “you look great” or "nice haircut" pale in comparison to the one that says: “You were Christ to me.”

To me, that’s the strongest form of witness possible. BEING, and not necessarily DOING.

After all, we’re called human beings and not human doings.

You may also like: Press Play on the New Evangelization.

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