A Life of Witnessing

Today, we celebrate the memorial of Sts. Charles Lwanga and companions. We also call them Martyrs of Uganda. A martyr is someone who is killed because of their religious beliefs. St. Charles Lwanga and his friends fearlessly stood for what they believed, even to the point of death. How many times have we shied away from declaring our faith in the face of the least opposition or denied our faith completely for fear of rejection?

In today’s first reading, St. Paul enjoined on Timothy never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord. This is a call that must be embraced by us who share in the same faith as these noble martyrs. Before you come up with excuses why you can’t witness to your faith, know that some of these martyrs were still catechumens, not knowing the faith fully, and some were very young boys. Now, what’s your excuse?

St. Paul continues to challenges us to live our full Christian calling by praying for one another, for how else can we be true witnesses if we rely on our own strength. He tells Timothy that he always remembers him in his prayers. Let’s pray always for those who have been entrusted to us. It may be our children or husbands or wives or our friends or relatives, etc. Then also we need to pray for those in authority, both religious or civil, for their decisions affect us one way or another and their bad choices can bring catastrophic consequences which may take years to correct.

Again, St. Paul called on Timothy to fan into flame the gift that God gave him. Just last Sunday, we celebrated Pentecost and renewed the grace of the Holy Spirit in us; thus, we must also fan into flame the various gifts we have. Don’t kill your gift, don’t make it idle and don’t waste it. No matter how small you may see it, please use it to God’s glory and for the good of all. Know that you would have to account for it one day. Don’t shy away from using it and don’t let fear prevent you from using it. Using our gifts is one sure way of witnessing to the world.

As we witness, we may experience hardships, but like St. Paul and the martyrs we celebrate today, don’t lose confidence and have no doubt because the one we have put our trust in is able to take care of everything that concern us.
Lord, may I persevere to the end in witnessing about you no matter what presses on me. Help me to do this one day at a time. Amen.
(2Tim. 1:1-3,6-12; Ps. 123; Mk. 12:18-27)

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