There are a couple of kinds of witnesses in today’s Liturgy of the Word. The first, in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, are the Jewish witnesses who were swayed by the religious establishment to demand the crucifixion of Jesus and the release of Barabbas, an insurrectionist and a murderer. Peter calls them to repentance so they can receive the full healing of God, just as the crippled man in yesterday’s first reading was given not silver and gold, but indeed the full healing of God. Just as he walked in newness of life, so their repentance could allow them the same.
The second kind of witnesses are the disciples. Their amazement is unfolding and they are trying to make sense of everything when Jesus appears in their midst and offers them peace. He makes it clear that everything the prophets foretold had come to fruition in him, and the glory of their message was finally among them. They were witnesses of all of that and are called to proclaim the message.
We are witnesses too. If we have been witnesses to insurrection and murder, and everything that is not Christ, then we too are called to repentance so that we can walk in newness of life. Then hearing the Gospel, we are witnesses of all that Christ did on our behalf and it is our job to go out and proclaim the message.
We are witnesses of these things.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!