Today the Archbishop of San Salvador, assassinated in 1980 by a hit squad of the El Salvadoran government, a government supported, sanctioned, and financed by the USA, will be sainted by the Catholic Church. He was a strong public voice for the voiceless and anonymous poor of El Salvador and Latin America. A few weeks before his murder, Father Romero said:
“I have often been threatened with death. I must tell you, as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If I am killed, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people. I say so without boasting, with the greatest humility. . . . A bishop will die, but God’s church, which is the people, will never perish.”
From a telephone interview with newspaper correspondent José Calderón Salazar. See James R. Brockman, Romero: A Life (Orbis Books: 2005), 247-248. cac.org
In my quiet time today I want to consider Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King, Jr, the countless men and women of faith who would not deny the calling which had been put upon them by an unseen, indescribable, and undefinable Power, a greater Power. They did not follow the mandate to minister to the marginalized and oppressed because they wanted to be historical martyrs. No, they did so because their interpretation of the Scriptures said it was the right path to follow. They read the holy writings from the viewpoint of the humble, meek, sacrificial servant called Jesus Christ. Not the Church nor the authorities of the Church nor the powers of government deterred them from the mission of their lives.
Am I living my life as they did? Lord knows I want to, but I stumble in weakness and doubt so many times. Who am I to think I can make a difference, as these great warriors did, for the poor and persecuted? What can my ministry be at my age, the sunset of this life? When I arrive at that final destination will someone say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. . . . And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” —Matthew 5:10,12, The Message
Lord, I beg to be blessed.