The recent and continuing spate of Christian persecution has been a painful thing to observe and even more so to internalize. Internalization means asking myself the question “If I were to face the choice between the bullet and the Bible, with what ‘attitude’ would I choose the Bible?”, “Would I ‘cheerfully’ take the Bible and accept the bullet?” To be honest, I was thinking it may be difficult, in the moment of reckoning, to take the bullet and give up all the dreams and passions of life. So, I was not sure about how ‘cheerful’ I would really be at the prospect of martyrdom.
As this thought was going over my mind and in a way eating through my mind, I was at the Cathedral for a communion service on 27th Septmeber 2008, which was also my birthday. It was also the aniversary commomeration service of the union of Church of South India (CSI). It was a Eucharist service. When I was preparing for the communion, suddenly a thought struck. I was here ‘celeberating’ Christ’s martyrdom for my sake but I was being gloomy about my martyrdom for Christ’s sake.
It was in this mood of humble introspection as I was walking up to the altar to symbolically partake of the divine Body and Blood that communion had an entirely new meaning to me. It was after thinking through the existential prospect of martyrdom for Christ that Christ’s sacrifice for me seemed so much more real and closer to my heart.