"Fire will come out of the mouths of these witnesses to devour their enemies." —Revelation 11:5
As members of the Church, we are olive trees (Rv 11:4), that is, we are anointed by the Holy Spirit. Because we are olive trees, we are lampstands (Rv 11:4). We are the light of the world (Mt 5:14). Because we are the light of the world and because those who practice evil hate the light (Jn 3:20), we are witnesses, that is, martyrs. Because we are witnesses, "the breath of life which comes from God" will return to us and we will rise gloriously from the dead (Rv 11:11).
Most people like the beginning and end of this series. Everyone wants the power which accompanies being anointed. Everyone wants to rise victoriously from the dead. However, not many want the witness of martyrdom. Nevertheless, we won't be olive trees and lampstands for long if we refuse to suffer as the Lord's witnesses. Likewise, we rise because we've lived and died for Jesus as His witnesses. Therefore, the key to the Christian life is being a witness. Witnesses always are olive trees and lampstands, who will surely rise in glory from the dead.
Be Jesus' witness right where you are and then even to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
Prayer: Jesus, may I receive power from on high to be Your witness (see Lk 24:49; Acts 1:8).
Promise: "God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for Him." Lk 20:38
Praise: St. John-Theophane Venard, martyred in Vietnam, had corresponded with St. Therese of Lisieux. John chose "the little way" by accepting martyrdom out of perfect love for Jesus.
Reference: (For a related teaching on Counter-Cultural, order, listen to, or download our CD 17A-3 or DVD 17A on our website.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 3, 2018
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