We must hope, we must act

e6853ca75a8d9a974982737f90230aa3During times like these, I cannot help but think of Bl. Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran archbishop gunned down as he celebrated the Eucharist. Romero will be formally recognized as a saint on October 14, 2018. A tweet from Tobias Winright, Ph.D. prompted me to look for this particular scene from the film Romero, starring Raul Julia as the Salvadoran archbishop gunned down while celebrating the Eucharist. (I will add that you will see a representation of assassination in the video, be advised.)

In his last passionate homily on March 23, 1980 Romero said:

“I would like to make an appeal in a special way to the men of the army, to the police, to those in the barracks. Brothers, you are part of our own people. You kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. And before an order to kill that a man may give, the law of God must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. No one has to fulfill an immoral law. It is time to recover your consciences and to obey your consciences rather than the orders of sin. The church, defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, the dignity of the person, cannot remain silent before such abomination. We want the government to take seriously that reforms are worth nothing when they come about stained with so much blood. In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuously, I beg you, I ask you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!”

On March 24, 1980 he was gunned down as he consecrated the Eucharist.

We cannot remain silent before abomination, and we must at some point choose to follow God before all else. We must also, if we heard today’s Gospel, choose to love our enemies. Romero fought for justice, with hope for peace – which would include loving those very enemies that we fight. May the Blessed Romero intercede for us as we discern and make our choices for present justice and future hope. We cannot wonder who the next Romero is, we must be our own next Romero, whatever the cost.

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8 thoughts on “We must hope, we must act

  1. I agree Fran. Martin Luther King said: “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.” If you have not already seen it have a look at this site:http://reclaimingjesus.org/.

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  2. I wish we had more Romero’s on the scene today giving forth this message. HE IS TRULY A SAINT OF THE MODERN ERA.

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  3. It’s becoming a dystopian world and our political leaders don’t care. I just returned from my Senators office and was told that I was trespassing….ugh.

    Human decency is becoming a thing of the past. Where are the Bishop Romero’s when we need them?

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  4. Will our country soon be as cruel and repressive as those from which the children and their parents are fleeing? How do we stop this from happening? How do we remain hopeful?

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  5. “We must also, if we heard today’s Gospel, choose to love our enemies. Romero fought for justice, with hope for peace – which would include loving those very enemies that we fight.”

    And yet your own tweets show how hateful you really are deep down inside, Fran.

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    • Rahowa, I read your comment before 5am as I headed out to the gym. I thought about it the entire time I was on the treadmill and I really prayed about it.

      Hateful is a strong word, and if you would care to elaborate on it, I am willing to listen. Are you willing to communicate? I find it interesting and a little sad – more time for prayer, not hate – that people appear online under a pseudonym, or perhaps has protected social media accounts. Why is this, I wonder – I have a particular fascination with this. Why not be who we are and be called by our names? Responsible for our words and actions, it is not easy, but it keeps me from – well, being hateful.

      I do blog under my own name, I tweet under my own name. For that reason, I am forced to live with what I say, and I can assure you sir that I have had many regrets. But I never want to be anonymous or “protected” online because it holds me to a particular accountability, come what may.

      Be assured of my prayers for you.

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