What do you picture when you think of the Church? Do you think of a building, a group of people praying, or a family at table? John in the book of Revelation pictures the Church as being witnesses (Rv 11:5), people testifying personally and publicly to their relationship with Jesus.
John pictures the Church as witnesses because Jesus commanded us before His Ascension to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Thus, to be a witness is foundational and essential to being a Christian. Our faith in Jesus must be personal and publicly communicated, or we are involved in an aberration of Christianity. We are "under compulsion and have no choice" to witness to Jesus and publicly proclaim His gospel (see 1 Cor 9:16). We are ruined if we don't preach it (see 1 Cor 9:16).
The Church of witnesses has been so powerful in changing the world that the term "witness" has come to mean "martyr," someone killed because of his love for the Lord. Will you accept the Holy Spirit's power to love God so much that you will speak publicly of that love and even be martyred for that love? Will you choose to be a member of the Church by Jesus' standards? Witness for Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may our attitude toward witnessing not be clouded by fear but motivated by love.
Promise: They "are no longer liable to death. Sons of the resurrection, they are sons of God." —Lk 20:36
Praise: Although St. Columban was exiled from France because of his faith, he did not let that deter him from witnessing to Jesus in Italy.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, April 10, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 18, 2002
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