Reading – 1 Peter 2:19-21
Tuesday of Holy Week
What does it mean to follow in Christ’s footsteps?
First, I think it is a reminder that God walked the same earth as we did, that Jesus was fully human in addition to being fully divine. He left us a path to eternal life out of love for us, and he walks with us on our journey to it, to him.
Second, it means, as the letter points out, to accept suffering that results from doing good, from following Jesus and affirming life and love instead of death and apathy. This suffering may come in the form of active and hostile persecution; exclusion and indifference; a life without fame, financial stability, or recognition of any kind; or even a life without the perceivable presence of God, the dark night of the soul. In any case, we are not to seek this suffering out but to accept it as it comes, embracing it as Jesus embraced his cross – with love – and to transform it in that love into a source of healing and life for others.
Third, to walk in Christ’s footsteps means to be humble, to let Christ lead us in himself and through others but also to lead others to God as disciples of Christ, to recognize our weaknesses and sins but also to realize and actualize the amazing things we can accomplish when we depend utterly on God.
Fourth, it means to keep God in our hearts at every moment, at every step of our journey. Whether in the midst of rejoicing or the agony of the cross, Jesus thought of, yearned for, and loved God his whole life; we should strive to do the same.
Fifth and finally, to follow in Christ’s footsteps means sometimes to simply wander and wonder, to withdraw like Jesus to a secluded place to pray, and to open our minds and hearts in loving, honest conversation with God.
Jesus invites us to follow in his footsteps every day. Please, Lord Jesus, may we accept this invitation and join you, join God, on the path to life, the path to God. ~