The Joy of Witnessing

John 15: 26 – 16: 4
Acts 16: 11-15 / Ps 149: 1-6, 9

You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.
(John 15:27)

It is our duty to testify
On behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ,
That for our sins He was crucified;
Sharing is just a small sacrifice.

Jesus said, ‘When the Advocate* comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth Who proceeds from the Father, He will testify on my behalf. 27You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. 16I have told you this so that you may not fall away. 2They will expel you from the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when those who kill you will think that they are offering worship to God. 3And they will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. 4I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.’ (John 15:26–16:4)

Reflection

The Holy Spirit worked so powerfully in the two foremost apostles of Jesus that those who listened with an open heart were instantly converted. St. Peter’s speech after Pentecost led to the conversion in just one day of more than 3,000 people who listened to him. In the first reading, we read about a prominent woman named Lydia in the city of Philippi, a Roman colony in Macedonia (Acts 16:14), who was so moved by St. Paul’s testimony that she invited him and his companion to her home, and she and her whole household were baptized and became Christians.

Last Saturday, the members of our community and our guests listened in rapt attention at our joint breakfast meeting as a couple (both doctors of medicine) gave a moving testimony of their life. They shared about serving others through their God-given professions, their individual battles against various ailments (both theirs and their children), and the hand of God in all the miraculous events that happened in their lives. An atmosphere of joy was palpable in that morning’s “spiritual encounter”, even as a recently widowed member stood up to thank the members in a long melodramatic tale of sorrow. Nevertheless, the spirit of joy that the couple engendered through their life sharing clearly set the tone “to serve with gladness” in the Christian Life Program seminar that followed in the afternoon. Not to mention the work of the Holy Spirit on the breakfast guests and five first-timers who attended, and on the “fence sitters” who have yet to prepare their own life testimony.

The breakfast sharing is a very effective form of evangelization that has become a culture in our community. It is in testifying to the goodness of our Lord and Savior that others come to a vicarious experience of the peace, joy and love that the Holy Spirit gives to believers. All of us who willingly submit to this mandate from our Lord Jesus, Who said, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father” (Mt.10:32) know the feeling of that moment. It is in humbly baring our soul that the Holy Spirit can use us as His instruments of enlightenment. As our Lord further said, “You are the light of the world… your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt.5:14,16). May we all be witnesses for Jesus Christ. It is the least that we can do to show our love and gratitude to God for all the blessings that He has given us in this life, as well as for our eternal salvation.

You call us, Father God, to give witness to Your power of transforming our lives, and Your Spirit has inspired and emboldened us to proclaim Your Word in our assemblies. Open the minds and hearts of those to whom we are giving our testimony, so that the seed You plant may grow and bear fruits abundantly. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Comments are closed.