From the earliest days of Christianity there have always been those who bore witness to Christ and his message in the most dramatic way by sacrificing their lives for their belief.  We call them martyrs and they have always held a special place in the Church.

Those who gave witness at the cost of their lives are only a very small percentage of Christians.  But all Christians are called to give witness to their faith. That an essential function of a true Christian: to give living testimony about Jesus and his message. A person is not primarily a witness against something.  That is only incidental to the fact of being a witness for something.   A true witness is a person whose life and faith are so completely one that when the challenge comes to step out and testify to their faith, they do so, not counting the cost, disregarding all risks, and accepting all consequences.

The typical Christian is not called to martyrdom in the traditional sense.   There is, however, a martyrdom to which every Christian is called.  It can be described as the  call to be an “everyday martyr.”  The “everyday martyr” is one who constantly gives living testimony to Christ and his message in the little things of everyday life.

Little things are important because it is the little things that make up by far the greatest portion of our lives.  Except for a few striking instances our lives are made up of common, seemingly unimportant things.  But in the end we will stand before God and look back on a life of “little things” that, in sum, amount to a life well spent or not.

There can be a subtle temptation which consist in thinking the little things in my dally life are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things that I am freed from making a serious effort to profit from them.  Here is a story to counter that temptation.  There was an old lady who used to walk along the seashore after the tide went out.   She would look for any starfish that has been trapped on the shore, pick them up and throw them back into the water.  Someone, seeing what she was doing, asked he: “Why do you bother doing that?  The shore is so great, and the trapped starfish so numerous, your efforts don’t really matter.”  The old lady picked up the next starfish she saw, threw it into the ocean and said:  “It does to that one.”