BLOOD AS WITNESS
A person who hasn´t received any formation, perhaps would understand in these words a coarse and detestable sadism. But the one who may have some experience of falling in love will see much more: the person or the cause that captivates us deserves our surrender. There is a “mystical imitation” in the experience of falling in love; and in this present case, it is the imitation of Jesus. St. Paul, once he came to know Jesus, he nurtured this passion and expressed it, “May I be found in him……May I know him and experience the power of his resurrection and share in his sufferings” (Phil 3, 9-10); and with full of joy and certain pride he will tell another community, “I am crucified with Christ” (Gal 2: 19).
Claret was one of the mystics of “Christification”; he began to imitate Jesus in humility, obedience, gentleness and charity, in his dress and in his food, in the means of travelling, in lack of money, in the preaching activity, in loving children, the poor, sick and sinners (Auto. 428-437). Besides, he desired to die like Jesus, seeing in it a great reason of credibility for his preaching. As Paul of Tarsus (and as Jesus), he could tell his many listeners, “Nor did we try to earn money, as God knows….Great is our concern that we are ready to give you, as well as the Gospel, even our very lives, for you have become very dear to us” (1Thes 2:5.8).
The option for martyrdom has been always present in the Church; in ancient times as well in recent times, there have been innumerable believers who “gave up their lives giving to death” (Rev 12:11) and that “those who proclaimed the Word of God and were slain for its sake” (Rev 6:9). It is the great seal of faithfulness to the message.