The recent martyrdom of the four Missionaries of Charity sisters in Yemen reminds us all that our Christian witness and duty may in fact lead to our death. Bless those sisters for their heroic lives, living in a hostile situation daily and giving visible witness to the presence of Christ. Here is true evangelization, the announcing of the Gospel. And while it is unlikely that most of us will be called to die for the faith, there is a kind of daily martyrdom that is expected of us and about which Christ warned us. If we are going to evangelize we must be prepared to suffer.
In today’s post, I’d like to talk about the relationship between martyrs and evangelization. The word “martyr” has two meanings, both of which are related to evangelization. On the one hand, “martyr” gets its meaning from the Greek word μάρτυς (martus), meaning “witness.” On the other hand, the current English meaning of “martyr” refers to those who suffered and died for their faith. Both concepts are essential for evangelizers (this means you).
Let’s look first at the concept of a “martyr” as one who suffers. If you’re going to evangelize you must be prepared to suffer. This goes a long way in explaining why most Christians don’t evangelize.
Read more at Community in Mission.