Today, the words of the Gospel make us think about how important examples are along with procuring an exemplary life for others. Yes, indeed, we have a saying that goes «“Friar example” is the best preacher», and another one saying «an image is worth a thousand words». Let us not forget that we, Christians, are —with no exception!— guides, as our Baptism confers on us a participation in Christ's priesthood (saving intercession): all of us that have received the baptism, have also received the baptismal priesthood. And all priesthood, beyond its mission to sanctify and teach others, also embodies the munus —the function— to rule and lead.
Yes, with our behaviour —whether we like it or not— we have the opportunity to become a stimulating model for those around us. Let us think, for instance, about the influence parents have over their children, teachers over their pupils, authorities over citizens, etc. And Christians, consequently, must have a particularly lively conscience of this fact. For..., «can a blind person lead another blind person?» (Lk 6:39).
For us, Christians, what the Jews and the first generations of Christians said of Jesus Christ: «He has done all things well» (Mk 7:37); «all that Jesus did and taught» (Act 1:1) should be like a call to attention.
We must try to transform into deeds what we believe in and declare by word of mouth. On one occasion, the Pope Benedic XVI, when he still was Cardinal Ratzinger, asserted that «those adapted Christians are the most threatening danger», that is, those persons that boast of their Christianism but, in actual practice, their behaviour shows they do not manifest the characteristic “radicalism” of the Gospel.
To be radical, though, is not tantamount to be fanatical (for charity is patient and tolerant) or to be immoderate (for moderation is impossible in love matters). As Saint John Paul II has said, «the crucified Lord is an insurmountable testimony of patient love and humble mansuetude»: He is not fanatic or immoderate. But He is radical, so much so, that the centurion who was present at his death felt like saying: «Surely this was a righteous man» (Lk 23:47).