The saints inspire us to new life, to a renewed life, to a reorientation of our lives. At first their witness seems other worldly. As if we are seeing the lives of some lesser deity instead of the lives of people like you and me who heard the call of Jesus and responded.
In my own life I have been deeply shaped by the life of Monseñor Romero. His constant conversion and his martyrdom on behalf of his people inspire me to be a more careful listener and a courageous preacher. It is also a humbling reminder of the cost of discipleship in our world and how comfortable many of us are in the safety of our lives. What would it look like if we began paying attention?
I think Monseñor would tell us that it would fill us with joy! Living our lives alongside those who are easily forgotten, those who are pushed aside, and those who like us, are broken engenders in us hope. Hope then begins to open up pathways for healing, which turns our mourning into dancing!
Often in the church we find ourselves caught up in the many things that are not going as we would like. We might talk of decline, of lack of resources, and lack of leadership. At other times we wonder if what we are doing makes any difference in the lives of those who come in contact with us?
I want to ask: What do we carry with us? What do we bring?
“The holy Mass, now, this Eucharist, is just such an act of faith. To Christian faith at this moment the voice of diatribe appears changed for the body of the Lord, who offered himself for the redemption of the world, and in this chalice the wine is transformed into the blood that was the price of salvation. May this body immolated and this blood sacrificed for humans nourish us also, so that we may give our body and our blood to suffering and to pain — like Christ, not for self, but to bring about justice and peace for our people.”
Archbishop Oscar Romero
from his last homily moments before his martyrdom by an assassin’s bullet on this day in 1980.