Go Ahead - Witness for Christ

Readings: Ex 32:7-14; Jn 5:31-47
"But there is another who testifies on My behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on My behalf is true." Jn 5:32

A few years ago, Fr. Dave, a Marian priest, was called to court to be a witness for a young student he knew at a university nearby where he lived. He was asked to testify to the student's character.

The court clerk said, "Sir, please state your name and address." Then he told the priest to place his hand on the Bible and asked: "In the matters before the court do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" Father Dave responded, "I do." Then, he took his seat in the witness box and confidently offered his testimony for the young person.

In today's Gospel, Jesus extols the virtues of His greatest witness, John the Baptist. Our Lord says, "He was a burning, shining lamp." John the Baptist stood in the witness box of his time and gave a testimony to the living Christ. And that testimony got him in trouble with King Herod because John defended the marriage bed - saying that it was not right for Herod to live with his brother's wife. Because of the truthful witness that John offered, King Herod's wife harbored a grudge against him and wanted him killed. Yet John the Baptist did not back down from his truthful testimony. Absolutely not! He remained strong in the face of adversity.

Remember: we are called into the witness box of life to place our hands on the Scriptures and to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in our witness to Jesus. There is a tendency in us to want to compromise.

When we are tempted to water down the truth of the Gospel, let's ask John the Baptist to teach us how to stay strong in witnessing to our Lord and our faith.

O Lord, give me the courage of the stouthearted when I am afraid to trust in Your mercy and to tell the truth with love. Help me to remain ever faithful to Your Gospel precepts. Amen.

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