Bearing Witness to Christ

BRIDGEPORT— The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord is the “beginning of a great commissioning to continue his work” on earth, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in his homily for Ascension Thursday.

“Our work today is precisely to become a witness to him… and to bear witness to his risen life,” the bishop during the Mass, which was live-streamed from the Catholic Center chapel.

He began his homily recalling a moment when he was called to give testimony in a civil legal proceeding and admitted that he was nervous on the way to the courthouse. However, once he completed the oath with the words, “I do,” he remembered feeling relieved.

“Saying , “I do,” make me a sworn witness to the truth, and I had every intention of telling the truth,” he said, noting at as followers of Jesus, Catholics face the same challenge today.

“What does it mean to be a witness to Jesus leads us us into difficult task. For example, to witness Christ is to witness the truth, never mincing our words in proclaiming what is right and just,” he said.

After reading the Gospel of Matthew (28: 16-20), “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” the bishop said we face the same responsibility as the disciples.

“The Ascension reminds of us the task before us and that we are all sinners. How many times by the decisions we’ve made have we stopped to do good in the name of Jesus? And how many time have we lost opportunities to be forgiving, kind, patient or loving—times we failed to say, “I do” to Jesus.”

The bishop said we may be held back by doubts or ambiguous, unnamed attitudes that haunt our hearts and minds,” yet influence what we say and do.”

He urged the faithful to be up to the task of looking in the mirror and “routing these attitudes out if they are not of Christ.”

The bishop said that it is easy for people to become distracted, mesmerized or unaware, but like the disciples, people must be ready to do the work of sharing the good news of Christ.

“In this age in which we live many of us are easily distracted with our ordinary duties and responsibilities. We create a routine where we forget this commission to bear witness to his truth and life.”

Immediately following Mass, the bishop said that he has been praying for the health and well being of all families in the diocese and asked that the faithful also pray for him. He also invited all to join him in the online Rosary being said each evening at 7:30 pm throughout the month of May.

(To find the link to join the online Rosary, please visit No computer? No problem. If you want to join by phone, call 646.558.8656 or 301.715.8592 and enter this ID number when prompted: 840 8707 1375)