What does it mean to be a witness?

What does it mean to be a witness? The way we answer this question is important if we wish to live faithful discipleship in Christ.

To the modern world, a “witness” is commonly understood as someone who testifies on behalf of a person or to an event that he or she has seen with their own eyes or for which the person has first-hand knowledge. This is the common understanding of serving as a “witness” in court. Such witness is meant to establish the truth so that a proper judgment can be rendered by the appropriate authority.

As followers of the Lord Jesus, we are called to serve as “witnesses” to our faith. To be a witness to Christ is to demonstrate by our words, actions and attitude the sacred mystery that we have “seen”, heard and believe in our hearts about the Lord who has forgiven us of our sins and offered us eternal life. In contrast to the world, Christian witness is to be offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You and I witness to Christ not by giving testimony to facts but to the truth- truth that is not always visible or “provable” by modern standards. We render testimony to what we have “seen” in our hearts, and not necessarily what we have seen with our physical eyes. We testify to our faith more effectively in our actions than in our words, inviting people not simply to understand what we are saying but to meet the Lord, personally and powerfully, through our faith, hope, and love in Him.

Unlike a witness in a courtroom, a witness to Christ serves as His ambassador in the world – effectively making the Lord present to everyone we meet. In this sense, the Christian’s court is the world and the judge before whom we testify is the Savior of us all.

The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos!