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In ancient Greece, it referred to “a public duty, a service to the state undertaken by a citizen.” This reminds us that the liturgy is never a private affair—it is a public act, even when we pray the Liturgy of the Hours alone.
eucharistia: We are taught that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life,’ so we would do well to understand where the word came from.
In this way, martyria complements the word addressed above, evangelion. “Scripture refers to the king as the ‘anointed of Yahweh,’” writes Kenneth Baker, S. “He was, therefore, a sacred person who, in a way, represented the kingship of Yahweh over his people.
The people also believed that God worked through the king to protect them and to achieve his special plan.” leitourgia: The liturgy—where we both hear the Word and receive the Word Made Flesh—is the heart of the faith.
But there are at least ten Greek words every Christian should know: logos: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. But we must turn to the original language to really understand the full meaning. The Liddell-Scott Greek Lexicon includes all of the following in the definition: explanation, statement of theory, argument, rule, law, reason, inward debate of the soul, scientific knowledge.
Whenever you say any word today that ends in –ology, this is where it came from.
The word is the product of the combination of eu-, a prefix meaning good, and angelion, message.
The etymology of the word is also rich with implications.
It is a combination of the prefix ek, meaning out, from, and to—and kaleo, to call.
That last word should look familiar: it’s also the source of our word angel.
As evangelists, we are called to bring the good news of the Incarnation, of the Cross, and the Resurrection to others.