(pertaining to today’s second reading: PHILIPPIANS 1;20C-24, 27A)
Sometimes reading words like these make me shiver. Paul was clear-eyed about where his life of radical evangelization would lead him. He was caught between the angry rejection of Jesus by his own religious leaders, and a brewing Empire-wide rejection of the ever-restless and quarrelsome Jews and all their religious debates. To the Romans, Jew or Christian, it made no difference. These backwater people just didn’t seem to get that the Empire and its gods were the only powers and principalities that mattered now. So Paul, a cosmopolitan who understood how the world worked, knew that death was always just around the corner for a Jewish man who wouldn’t keep his mouth shut about religion. And he accepted this because, for him, “life is Christ and death is gain.” Paul would preach Jesus until they killed him. And then his death would proclaim Jesus even louder. This is how Paul “magnified” Jesus, alive or dead. And considering that Paul’s words and witness remain central to the life of Christians everywhere, he got that right. (Alice Camille)
How do your words and the witness of your life “magnify” the message of Jesus wherever you go?