Daily Reflection
May 10th, 1999
Fr. Richard J. Gabuzda
Institute for Priestly Formation
Acts 16:11-15
John 15:26--16:4
Our love of courtroom dramas in plays, film and on television has given us great exposure to the function of the “witness” in a trial.  The best witnesses, we know, do not speak about what “might have happened” or speculate about “probable cause,” but rather speak to us about what they have actually seen or heard.

The Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, says Jesus, will “bear witness on my behalf.”  The Holy Spirit will keep speaking the truths which Jesus first spoke.  The Spirit has “seen and heard” these truths and speaks from experience.

“You must bear witness as well . . ..”  The followers of Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, are expected to keep the truth alive by speaking it to the world.  But like good witnesses, this truth cannot simply be something we have heard from a distance or imagine to be; it must be what we ourselves have “seen and heard.”  That is, the truth which Jesus spoke, to which the Spirit gives witness, must be in our experience.  It must be something which we know to be true; only then can we speak with compelling conviction.

How much conviction do we need?  Recalling that the Greek word for witness gives us the English word martyr says it all.  The truth is so much within them, that martyrs are willing to stake their lives on it.

What truths of faith do I truly “know”?  Where do I need to pray for the Spirit’s light and courage?  What sort of witness will I be today?

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