Witnesses are called to give a report on their experience in a legal or conflict situation.
We look for them after a traffic accident, in any court case, in a request for a marriage annulment. Jesus today calls his followers his witnesses, because they have been with him for some time. When the gospel writers put the gospels together they stressed that they relied on the statement of witnesses to give them the truth.
Knowing or knowing About
We are witnesses to Jesus only if we know him in prayer, and through the word of the gospels and when we make his word and spirit alive and active in our hearts. We are people who know the Lord Jesus and spread his word and message. Witnesses to Jesus know Jesus personally, not just know about him.
This can be mysterious and hard to pin down. We know people in our lives, close to Jesus Christ who bring flesh and blood to the gospel, people who in the struggles of their lives particularly on behalf of others, have found a bond of union with Christ – parents who have fought for the rights of their sick children, and people of every age who spend more than what is required to look after others in the family, and people who fight at personal cost for justice for themselves and others.
A daily Pentecost
Or people in neighbourhoods who have made their locality a better place to live in because they see the needs and hear the call of Jesus in others. Religious men and women, teachers, helpers of all sorts who have given long beyond the call of duty to others because the Spirit of Jesus has filled their lives. The holy Spirit has found a way with them to make Pentecost a daily reality.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me; spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us; Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on all.
Donal Neary SJ