HomeCommentaryBALIK-TANAW: Witnesses of the Resurrected Christ in Today’s Context

BALIK-TANAW: Witnesses of the Resurrected Christ in Today’s Context

The atmosphere of fear and doubt prevailed among the disciples. Some of the disciples at the moment have not seen Jesus after rising from the dead. They continued to be in hiding after Jesus’ brutal death on the cross in fear of being caught and put on trial as one of those who followed Jesus, whom the authorities called a blasphemer.

Witnessing Jesus, who proclaimed himself as God’s only begotten son, was an act of blasphemy during those days. All the more, when someone proclaims Jesus’ resurrection, one can be put to trial and suffer the same persecution Jesus underwent from the power systems and structures of the time.

But have we asked ourselves What are the challenges of witnessing Christ’s resurrection today? What are the risks we have to face when we bear witness to a crucified and resurrected Jesus in these times? What is the most profound act of witness we are to pursue, in our context?

As we look deeper into the realities at present, our people are facing the same crucifixions every single day: poverty, injustice, inequality, oppression, corruption, and greed. The underprivileged masses experience daily and unending scenarios of death and misery at the hands of powerful and oppressive systems.

The common people carry their cross toward the world-made Calvary, a Golgotha, place of the dead. They experience death and suffering every single day of their lives. And yet, we as churches and followers of the resurrected Christ have turned our eyes away from the wounds of suffering felt in the people’s miserable lives due to fear and apathy.

Like the disciples, fears and doubts win over us. We also feel and act in the same fear today. We fear persecution if we choose to prioritize serving the poor and marginalized. We choose to stay in our comfort zones and avoid persecution while standing for human dignity and the truth. The truth is hidden today in the rubble of deception through fake news, historical revisionism, and misinformation.

We refuse to touch and feel the wounds of our people’s suffering. We avoid circumstances that would place us in a bad light. We chose not to speak truth to power. We fear ridicule by those in power.

- Newsletter -

The families and victims of the drug war killings by the previous and present administrations are still grieving and seeking justice for the lives taken by violent and brutal means. We chose to be silent. We refuse to express solidarity with the aggrieved. We fear losing our comfortable lives. We fear standing with the oppressed.

We proclaim Christ, the resurrected Jesus, but we adhere to the culture of death and violence imposed by the powers and structures that rule over us today. We proclaim Christ, the resurrected Jesus, but we choose to hide in the comfort zones of our parishes because we fear persecution if we commit to working for just and lasting peace in our country. We proclaim Christ, the resurrected Jesus, but refuse to journey with the poor and suffering towards attaining abundant life. A life that is free from injustice and oppression, where everyone has food for every table, and where everyone is afforded dignity.

As witnesses of Christ in today’s context, we are peace-builders, not just peacekeepers and peacemakers. Christ came amid turmoil, fear, and violence to share with the disciples the gift of peace. We are witnesses of the resurrected Christ if we courageously work for peace, justice, and human dignity, no matter the cost. We are witnesses of the resurrected Christ as we stand for the marginalized and be in solidarity with their struggles and sufferings felt every moment of their lives. We are witnesses to the resurrected Christ if we work and stand with the aggrieved and mourning victims of extrajudicial killings.

May our faith in the resurrected Jesus edify our whole beings to pursue the ministry of witness today. A witness to Christ fearlessly proclaims the truth, sides with the oppressed struggles with the masses, and pursues actions for all to attain just and lasting peace.

Christ’s peace be with you. Siya Nawa

Gospel reflection of Klein Fausto Emperado of the Youth of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente for the Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Ps 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
1 Jn 2:1-5a
Lk 24:35-48

Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action.

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