Following in footsteps of Jesus
The first to follow in the footsteps of Jesus were the Disciples. After the death of Jesus, they continued proclaiming the Good News of salvation. When we look at the history of the Apostles we realize that the great majority of them were martyred. For example, Saint Peter was crucified upside down because he didn't feel he was worthy to die in the same way as Jesus. Saint Andrew was tied down to a cross in the form of an X, and was left there to starve. And like these, there are many.
My question is, is the call from Jesus, a call to be martyrs?
We need to take into account the new commandment Jesus left: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34). The call of Jesus is one to love our neighbor but, what does that mean. Loving our neighbor in the manner in which Jesus did implies much more than we often imagine. It is a call to the struggle for the justice of God, a call to a search for equality where no one goes hungry. But, in order for everybody to enjoy the basic needs, it is often necessary for others not to have a surplus. It is also a call to care for those who are in need; a call to love in truth and to announce the good news that God tells us that He loves everyone equally and therefore, he is saddened to see that, after having created a fertile land for all his children to have everything in abundance, some suffer injustice and only a few enjoy all the comforts while others have to see their children starve before their own heart stops beating.
This is why it is important to seek our own conversion so we can fight for a world where God’s will is fulfilled and not a single injustice comes before our eyes without us doing something to stop it. That is the only way in which we will be able to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. To do this, to a large extent, is to be martyrs, that is, witnesses.
Martyrs are those who give witness to the truth and justice of Jesus, even if it means sacrifice and even the sacrifice of one’s own life. The time has come for us, young people to see, judge and act as martyrs, in other words, as witnesses before the present social crises. For that, we will have as our support God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is not easy; there are always temptations out there. It is important, therefore, to remember the examples from the life of Jesus, our Lord. In the same way, it is also important to feed on the Body of Christ present in the Eucharist so that He himself will guide us and give us strength.
Let us remember that we cannot become what we do not eat.