COMMON OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Here are my two witnesses.
The Book of Revelation was written to Christians living under persecution to encourage them not to be afraid. Still, this dramatic and violent book can be frightening. As with much that we read in Revelation, we can’t be exactly sure who the “two witnesses” are. Some commentators say they are Peter and Paul or Elijah and Moses. Others say they may be early Christian martyrs. But what’s most important is that they are witnesses: they give evidence or have personal knowledge of something.
The fact that there are two of them is important: in Judaism, the testimony of two or three witnesses was sufficient to establish the truth of something (see John 8:17). So these two are testifying to the truth of God’s awesome plan of salvation. They arrive on the scene at a crucial time, when the “holy city” (the Church) is undergoing great persecution (Revelation 11:2). The image of fire coming from their mouths tells us how powerful their testimony was.
Whatever we may think of the symbolism, one truth stands out: these two figures are doing what we are all called to do: to be witnesses to the Lord Jesus. If you don’t think you’re up to the task, here is something important to keep in mind: you do have personal knowledge of God’s love and mercy. You can testify to how you have seen him act in your life and in the lives of other people. Remember also that your very life is a living witness of how the love that Jesus has put into your heart flows out to those around you.
So don’t let the violence of this passage make you afraid to testify. You don’t have to do something as dramatic—or dangerous—as those fiery witnesses did. You just have to live out your faith and be willing to share your love of the Lord with other people. Then, like these witnesses, you can reveal the grace and power of a God who wants to save everyone.
“Lord, give me the courage to do one small thing today to bring your love and truth into the world.”
Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10