Every morning on my way to chapel, I pass by a tapestry banner of St. Clare of Assisi and this one of St. Oscar Romero. These banners were made two years ago by Br. Ramon Razon, OFM, one of the friars who resided at Holy Name College during my postulancy year. He highlighted the process of sewing this tapestry in a blog entry, A Franciscan Romero.
Though we celebrate Holy Thursday today, I also remember that 36 years ago today, on March 24, 1980, this holy servant of God sacrificed his life for the poor of El Salvador. As we approach the Supper of the Lord this evening, let us remember that often times true discipleship comes at a great price.
Now more than ever, the words of this true prophet ring out to us. As our peace, love, and freedoms are eroded further and further by violence, by hate, and by fear, let us remember some prophetic words of wisdom from this holy servant. St. Oscar Romero, pray for us!
“Each one of you has to be God’s microphone. Each one of you has to be a messenger, a prophet. The church will always exist as long as there is someone who has been baptized…Where is your baptism? You are baptized in your professions, in the fields of workers, in the market. Wherever there is someone who has been baptized, that is where the church is. There is a prophet there. Let us not hide the talent that God gave us on the day of our baptism and let us truly live the beauty and responsibility of being a prophetic people.”
“Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.”
“The transcendence that the church preaches is not alienation; it is not going to heaven to think about eternal life and forget about the problems on earth. It’s a transcendence from the human heart. It is entering into the reality of a child, of the poor, of those wearing rags, of the sick, of a hovel, of a shack. It is going to share with them. And from the very heart of misery, of this situation, to transcend it, to elevate it, to promote it, and to say to them, ‘You aren’t trash. You aren’t marginalized.’ It is to say exactly the opposite, ‘You are valuable.’”