The other day I was thinking about the martyrs. I'm not sure what it was- maybe Pope Francis talking about the persecution of Christians in the world today. Whatever it was, a thought occurred to me that I had never considered. When a martyr was dying for Christ, what was going through Christ's mind? Hmm...
Was Christ there demanding that this person give their life for him? Was he there telling this almost-martyr, "ok, just a little more, I want you to prove to me that you love my by not giving in. Prove it to me!" Was Christ an egomaniac, going around looking for people who would give their lives for him? I certainly do not think so. On the contrary, I think that Christ would have said something more like, "I know you love me, you don't have to go through all this. I know your heart. I don't need this proof." Friends, people that love each other, do not want to see the other suffer.
So why would the martyr go through with it? I think that it has to be, quite simply, because of love. I think that the martyr loved Christ. The martyr did not want to leave any room for doubt in anyone's mind that he loved Jesus Christ. I think that the martyr tastes a freedom that few know exists. The martyr lives the zenith, the fullness, the absolute epitome of freedom! He squeezes it out to the last drop. He loves.
In the Catholic Church we celebrated last Sunday the solemnity of Christ the King. He is not an egomaniac but is entirely the opposite. He gave his life for us. He is the King who shows us how to love.