RMG, 10 September 2021 -- Evangelisation does not happen only through direct proclamation, through teaching or through evangelising activities. Credible witness of life is an important part of proclaiming the Gospel because faith is not only a result of reflection or comprehension of the mystery of God. Every human person needs witnesses of faith who have encountered God and through them, by the power of the Spirit, make one experience God.
Witness is also rooted in the fundamental attitude of respect and appreciation of the human and religious values of one’s own friends and neighbours who do not know Christ. A credible witness challenges the other to examine one’s own values, priorities and lifestyle and go deeper into one’s own self in a more conscious and profound manner. Thus, witness becomes prophetic because it could trigger questions in the minds of those we encounter and those who observe us, like “why do I live this way?”, What makes you do this?” which, in turn, could start off a search for truth. Then, our witness becomes salt and light and a pathway to faith which is the opposite of a presence “without taste” (Mt 5, 13-16).
This demands that we live with total openness to the Holy Spirit so that we may better reflect the image of Christ in us. We need to be men and women of strong faith and courage who strive to live the Beatitudes even up to offering one’s life for others so “that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Jn 10,10).
Giving a renewed importance to witness of life helps us overcome the danger of reducing Christianity or Catholicism simply into a set of doctrines. We also become more consciously aware that any form of counter witness could hinder the proclamation of the Gospel. Thus, we need to live our Christian life in the permanent state of mission and in a constant attitude of personal conversion.
In the multi religious context of our EAO region the witness of life is of primary importance. In fact in Asia, home of great religions and ancient cultures, a credible witness of life is more important than direct proclamation of the Gospel.
For Reflection and Sharing:
- How do I bear witness to the Gospel I proclaim?
- What is in me (attitude, lifestyle, etc) that could be a counter witness to the Gospel?