There is much talk about the Christian duty of giving witness to Christ in civil society. In practical terms this would imply that the world should understand who Christ is by the way this Christian acts, giving honour to God through Christ: by seeing the way a Christian speaks, operates, writes, suffers and rejoices, Such a witness could seem so difficult that it would border on utopian. And yet since it is asked of us by Christ himself, it must be possible. He holds that it is possible and requires us to be perfect here on earth as our Father in Heaven: no less!
In our times there is a need for Christian witness especially in the social, economic and political spheres, for these are the places where God is most commonly denied and the Gospel most easily betrayed by materialistic ideologies, horrendous selfishness and populist abuse. It’s up to the Christian to purify these environments by dealing with purity of life and self-sacrifice. In fact, the surest way to heal the social malaise lies in healing our awareness of the social good and then affirming it by word and action – on our face, at home, at work, in positions of authority and administration, among big and small. Whatever we may be doing, even eating or drinking, may we do it all to the glory of God. Then the skeptical, the incredulous and the doubting might convert when they see Christ in us.
The fascination and salutary action of a St. Francis of Assisi derive from the fact that the wounds of Christ are recognizable in him. A similarly huge task has been given us: a divine task. I am asked to be Christ alive also when I am standing at the lectern, writing a newspaper article, assisting a cancer patient in hospital. We must be Christ in relation to every brother/sister at every moment, even if they are repellent to us. We love our brother/sister and they open for us a gateway to God. In this way the divine life is incarnated in human structures, in politics, economy, art and work. And since each one of us lives his time with his own wants and needs and problems, in this way he brings the spirit of Christ, the inspiration of the Gospel into the solutions to the crises of our time, transforming it into a period of purification, a means for being free again.
Igino Giordani in: Parole di vita, Società Editrice Internazionale, 1954