Today is also the feast of Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort who too was a missionary of sorts.
What does it mean to be a missionary? What does it mean to devote one's life to spreading the Gospel? Where does one have to go in order to be a missionary?
Peter and Louis both answer this question. Being a missionary means being present to the people who need you wherever you go. Being a missionary means putting yourself out there, somewhere outside yourself, into unknown situations and places.
Being a Christian means the same thing. To be a Christian and to be a missionary are pretty much the same thing. We do not do anything special or different; we become Christ for those around us. Being a missionary does not mean going off to exotic places but going where Christ is needed despite troubles or resistance.
Peter stumbled into his situation. But he did not let that stop him from living Christ to those he lived among. Did he accomplish as grandiosely as Louis? Yes, because he was just a successful in bringing peace and comfort to those he served.
In the end it cost them both their lives, Peter as a martyr, Louis in a long life, and that is true of us all. That is the point: when we give our lives over, we give them over; long or short it does not matter. What matters is that we give them over to Christ. It was said of Peter by one of his catechumens: "He loves us. He does what he teaches. He forgives his enemies. His teaching is good." What better epitaph could any servant hope for?
It does not matter whether or not I am killed; the religion has taken root on the island; it will not be destroyed by my death, since it comes not from men but from God.
-- attributed to Peter soon before his death
Things to Think About