Fender Benders and Witnessing the Risen Christ

Third Sunday of Easter  –  May 8, 2011  Acts 2:14,22-33  ~  Ps 16:1-2,5,7-11  ~  1 Pt 1:17-21  ~  Lk 24:13-35 As we walked out of the Easter vigil mass a couple weeks ago, a friend of mine observed a car with its front fender partially detached.  It wasn’t clear if it had happened recently or not, but her immediate response struck me: “Let’s get out of here before someone wants us to serve as witnesses.”  Now granted, this friend has extensive experience with the legal system and knows all too well the games played and the inequities that can pass as justice.  Still, what do we make of the knee-jerk response that wants to avoid being a witness? If nothing else, it reminds us that being a witness can be a hassle.  One moment you are minding your own business and then, in an instant, you are saddled with the responsibility to testify to what you have seen and heard.  Wrong time, wrong place.  Maybe you’ll even be forced to take time off work if it goes to court.  Although in modern parlance we reserve the term martyr for those who sacrifice their lives for a noble cause, the original meaning of the Greek term was simply “witness.”  Perhaps we see shades of a supererogatory sacrifice in those who are willing to stand witness today, even for a little...

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