Authentic Witnesses

“It is often said nowadays that the present century thirsts for authenticity.  Especially in regard to young people, it is said that they have a horror of the artificial or false and that they are searching above all for truth and honesty.  These signs of the times should find us vigilant.  Either tacitly or aloud – but always forcefully – we are being asked: Do you really believe what you are proclaiming?  Do you live what you believe?  Do you really preach what you live?  The witness of life has become more than ever an essential condition for real effectiveness in preaching.  Precisely because of this we are, to a certain extent, responsible for the progress of the Gospel that we proclaim.”  – Pope Paul VI

This morning in my personal prayer time, I was reflecting on the responsibility I have – we have – to be authentic in the way that we live the Gospel out in our lives.  As I adjust to life in the States after two years of mission in Spain, I am more and more aware of my call and responsibility to be a missionary here, at all times.  The temptation is to say, “I’m out of missions” and believe that it is ok for me to have a break or a vacation from the missionary life.  But the reality is, I’m a missionary all the time, whether in foreign lands or in my own home.  As Christians, we are all missionaries all of the time.  At every moment we have the opportunityto lead people closer to Christ or further away. 

As Pope Paul VI said, the world is thirsting for authenticity.  And so I ask myself, and you, these hard questions:  Do we really believe what we are proclaiming?  Do we live what we believe?  Do we really preach what we live?   Have we allowed ourselves to be changed by our relationship with Jesus?  Have we invited Him into our lives or asked Him to sit on the sidelines and observe?  Do we live our lives each day in a way that gives glory to God?  Do we really live Gospel values?   Do we truly love our brothers and sisters, neighbors, coworkers, friends and enemies…or do we just tolerate them? 

The world is watching and waiting.  What are we proclaiming to the world with our lives?  Are we living an authentic Christianity? 

I know that my answers to these questions are not always what they should be.  I ask forgiveness for the times that I have chosen to give myself glory instead of Jesus, for not loving as I’m called to love, for not speaking when I had the opportunity, for being lazy and not allowing God’s Word and Love to transform me.  Please pray for me, as I pray for you, that we would be filled with the Holy Spirit, transformed more and more into His likeness and set on fire to be holy and authentic witnesses of the Good News of Jesus in our lives! 

 

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~ by martinsonmission on June 11, 2010.

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