Celebrating the memorial of St. Paul Miki and his Jesuit companions, we recall the life of John the Baptist. John is one of the greatest figures in Christianity not only because he preached about a baptism of repentance, but mainly because he is a precursor to Jesus and insisted on announcing that another would come after him. Today´s gospel accounts for the consequences of John´s actions and words that led him to be executed, in spite of the fact that Herod feared John and acknowledged his righteousness and holiness.

John is a herald, who teaches us what it means to be followers of Christ. So was Paul Miki, who together with his Jesuit martyr companions, was put to death for having preached the gospel in the Far East and searching out people who were most in need.

As we recall the memories of these courageous people who bravely announced God´s love, let us remember that mission is a key element of Christian life. Our faith calls us to save the world with the same prompt response of our martyrs and the love that God shows for us. Are we willing to journey wherever God sends us?  Perhaps today we can take the first step of that extra mile.

—Fr. Hugo Nelson Gomez-Sevilla is a Jesuit from Colombia, currently pursuing graduate studies in educational leadership at Loyola University Chicago.