One fact of life is that we often get to know a person more when he or she has passed on from this life. How many wakes have we gone to only to hear the many stories of the deceased person from family, relatives, friends, officemates, and even kasambahays? Sadly, in that regard, we get to know more of a person when he or she is gone.
In discussing testimonies, John the Baptist gave a testimony of Jesus that He is the Messiah. This is something we need nowadays. Why? We have taken away God from our life, society, and the world. They took away God in the public schools in the United States and look what has happened? For a while it was offensive to put a belen (nativity scene) in a public space. Hence, one of the challenges in the Gospel is to give testimony.
In our everyday lives, three things we can do to give Testimony for Jesus.
- Forgiveness. This is one of the most difficult teachings of Christ. In fact, the world looks at forgiveness as a sign of “weakness”, but in reality, it is the opposite. Forgiveness is a sign of strength and the strength comes from God. When the most natural tendency is to retaliate, we are reminded to leave God in control and “to turn the other cheek.” Yes, people who give, are forgiving people.
- Standing up. “All that needs for evil to prevail is for good people to keep quiet.” That is why Christ once said, “Do not fear those who can kill the body but not the soul. Fear those who can kill the soul in Gehenna.”
Once an ad for an alcoholic drink had a slogan: “Have you tasted a seventeen year old?” While the ad was referring to the age of the liquor, we all know that it had double meaning. Many people wrote to the ad agency to pull down the ad and it was pressured to do so. If we want a better world, we have to stand up.
- Service. “I came to serve and not to be served.” These are the words of Christ. Howard Zinn once said that “Small acts when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.” Hence if we want a better place to live, we continue to serve.
In the world today, there is so much confusion because there are so many voices and we listen to them. Twenty one centuries ago, John the Baptist came with a simple message for us to follow, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make strength his path.”