Our Witness to Christ in the World
In our final prayer at the end of the Divine Liturgy, we ask for “blessing on those who bless Thee” and, in turn, we bless “the name of the Lord, henceforth, and forever more.” But we’re not finished. In fact, we’ve just begun. Having received the Eucharist, the very life of Christ that binds us together in his Body, the Life that sustains us after we leave church, we are sent out to our homes, to our work, to our friends, family, to anyone that we may encounter, to live in the Life that we have received. Following the Eucharist, we proclaim,
We have seen the true Light, We have received the Heavenly Spirit, We have found the true Faith, worshiping the undivided Trinity who has saved us.
How did we find the true Faith? While it may be true that some of us sought it out, it is also true that none of us would have found the Faith were it not for faithful witnesses whose lives testified to the eternal life of Christ in His Church. Their lives, permeated with the grace, truth, joy, and peace that come through communion in Christ and fidelity to his commandments, shone upon us with the glory and indescribable beauty of the eternal life of the Holy Trinity. This is what empowered the Saints to witness to Christ in this world. It is what our Lord has called each of us to do: to keep his commandments and to be witnesses of him.1
Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes,
It is only as we return from the light and the joy of Christ’s presence that we recover the world as a meaningful field of our Christian action, that we see the true reality of the world and thus discover what we must do… It is today that I am sent back into the world in joy and peace, having seen the true light, having partaken of the Holy Spirit, having been a witness of divine Love. What am I going to do? …It all depends primarily on our being real witnesses to the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit, to that new life of which we are made partakers in the Church.2