Our Guest Preacher is Oscar Romero

Icon by Fr. Robert Lentz
Icon by Fr. Robert Lentz

Today is Palm / Passion Sunday.  From the gospels, we heard about the final suffering and death of Jesus.  Today also happens to be the 33rd anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.

I brought this icon to church and set it upright on the Communion Table as I preached.

Instead of my own sermon, I preached Archbishop Romero’s final homily: the one he was preaching when he was gunned down in a hospital chapel on March 24, 1980… one week to the day before I was born.

I have tears in my eyes to think that I was able to bring his words to life again this morning.  One of the little old ladies at my church commented on her way out that what he said is even more relevant today than when he first preached it.

It is as the good Archbishop himself said: “If they kill me, I shall rise again in the Salvadoran people.”  Not only Salvadoran…

By some amazing coincidence, the gospel text for Romero’s last homily was John 12:23-26:

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.

Click here to read the full text of Oscar Romero’s last homily (in English)

The Face of Humanity in Libya

Many of us are horrified by the awful news and images of Chris Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya, being assassinated and dragged through the streets.  As happens so often in this world, rage begets rage begets rage…

It was Mahatma Gandhi who said: “An eye for an eye and eventually the whole world goes blind.”

However, there is always more to the human story.  I know that the Sacred Spirit still lives in our hearts, working miracles of reconciliation.  I can hear the joyful laughter through Her tears when I see pictures like the ones I found on Facebook.  If you are angry about what has happened, meditate on these images and let the peace of God reign in your heart: