Silent Witnesses in the Gospels:
Bible Bystanders and Their Stories
By Allan F. Wright
reviewed by Faustina Konkal
In twenty-six challenging and easy to read chapters, none more than ten pages in length, author Allan F. Wright brings the places and people of the Gospels into new and remarkably sharp focus. As a new wife and mother who is adjusting to the daily reality of marriage and motherhood, I found a great deal of personal relevance in this book.
In each chapter Wright introduces a "silent witness" a person in the Gospels who was silent but played an important role in the event recorded. By speculating about details, and asking questions directed at his own conscience, he invites the reader to put themselves in someone else's shoes.
Imagine what it would be like go to church and Jesus is the guest homilist. Would you burst into a strangers' home the wash the feet of someone you loved, and what would you think if you saw it happening? Do we have the faith to leave our job, home, community and bring an infant to a new country where a different language is spoken because of a dream? In my case, perhaps the better question is would I go along it because my husband had a dream?
We all know the stories and we all know the main characters, but have we ever stopped the think about the people who by their silent witness made possible the message of the Gospels? As someone who left a very public and outgoing workplace in order stay at home to raise our daughter, it was uplifting to see that as an ordinary person I can help to shape the world and to remember that I am loved unconditionally by God regardless of whether anyone hears my voice or remembers my name.
About the Author:
Allan E. Wright is an award-winning religion teacher at Union Catholic Regional Hiagh School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He also speaks to a wide range of Catholic groups interested in Scripture and is the cofounder of the Catholic Ventures website, whose mission is to help Catholics recognise their gifts and callings.