Commentary on the Gospel of
Monday. “… of this we are witnesses”
Peter addresses the people as one from among them: who knew the current affairs of their days! He was with Jesus; he had first-hand experience of what happened – he saw them arrest him, torture him and consequently crucified him. He is a qualified eyewitness. And so, from that background he tells the truth before their faces: “You killed him, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up … of this we are witnesses.” We have another set of ‘eye-witnesses’ in the Gospel reading: Mary Magdalene & the other Mary … fearful yet overjoyed and, ran to announce the news to his disciples. Jesus meets them saying, “do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, there they will see me.” The key word in these two accounts is ‘witness’.
One of the challenges that keeps recurring, confronting each other in our contemporary world is the clash between ‘experience of authority’ and ‘authority of experience.’ The officials – religious and civil rulers led Jesus and his followers through their human authorities. They made them experience what it means to be in power, just because they had authority vested upon them. We can of course call it abuse of power or abuse of authority – the reality remains that they enforced it upon others. And the story is still on in our world today.
Many are suffering, others are dying simply because some others are exercising their authorities. If you are a victim, that is, having experience of abuse of authority, I invite you to behold closely the apostles’ spirit of witnessing to the truth. The apostles (represented here by Peter and Mary Magdalene), were able to stand their ground simply because each possesses his or her own ‘authority of experience’. Each had direct encounter with Jesus Christ: during his ministry, his passion cum death and at his resurrection. And none of them keeps the experience to oneself. No, each goes forth proclaiming that the Lord is alive. He is alive in you and I through our Paschal experience, our Easter encounter with our Lord. Would you keep this experience concealed within you? No, you possess the authority of experience of the Lord: when he restored you through forgiveness; fed you when you were broke; consoled you when you were hurt; fortified you when you were mourning, etc. Go, tell the world that ‘Jesus is alive and active in your live.’