Thursday within the Octave of Easter            

            “You are witnesses of these things.”

            The risen Christ wants his followers to be his witnesses. He wants them – he wants us – to be witnesses of his truth… of his self-giving love… of his death and resurrection… of his mercy and forgiveness… of his peace and joy.

            When shall we learn that the Good News needs not just to be cherished, but needs to be told, to be proclaimed, to be shared? Let us not bury the Good News of Easter at the bottom of our old life. Huwag natin hayaang matabunan ito ng ating panghihinayang at pagmumukmok sa mga bagay na di natin nakuha o natanggap. Huwag natin hayaang matabunan ito ng ating pag-aalala at pangangamba sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa kinabukasan. Let us not allow it be buried by our negative thoughts and feelings – like envy and jealousy, bitterness and unforgiveness.

            We have to become committed witnesses to our faith. We have to become living witnesses to the risen Lord. We have to become credible witnesses of God’s love. Sharing the Good News and caring for our sisters and brothers are non-negotiable for persons who have found, or have been found by, the Easter experience.

            It is in our faithfulness to our mission and witnessing to Christ that we discover and experience communion with Christ. To find the risen Lord we must look among his least sisters and brothers. Among the hungry, not only for material food, but for attention and consideration, care and concern. Among the thirsty, not only for water or drink, but for understanding and acceptance for who they are – with warts and all. Among the naked – stripped of decency and respect, stripped of their dignity and rights. Among the ill – including those who are sick because of depression, abuse, and addiction. Among the imprisoned – give them a second chance, and help them as they try to redeem themselves. Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did for me.”

            Indeed, the risen Lord is found where the unlovable is loved, the neglected is cared for, the grieving is comforted, the suffering is shown compassion, the sinner is forgiven. He is found where the bread is blessed, broken, and shared, and the chalice is poured out and consumed.

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