Saturday, March 24, 2012

Courage to the End: The Example of a Bishop

God's reign is already present on our earth in mystery. When the Lord comes, it will be brought to perfection. 
That is the hope that inspires Christians. We know that every effort to better society, especially when injustice and sin are so ingrained, is an effort that God blesses, that God wants, that God demands of us. 
May this Body immolated and this Blood sacrificed for mankind nourish us also, that we may give our body and our blood over to suffering and pain, like Christ--not for self, but to give harvests of peace and justice to our people.

These are the final words of the homily of Archbishop Oscar Romero, March 24, 1980.

Moments later, a shot rang out and the bullet pierced his chest as he stood at the altar. Before falling unconscious, he uttered his last words:

"May God have mercy on the assassins." 


Only a month before, Archbishop Romero wrote these words in his retreat notes:
“I must be ready to give my life for God, no matter what kind of death awaits me. Unknown circumstances will be faced with the grace of God. He was present to the martyrs, and if it should be necessary I will feel Him very close to me as I render Him my last breath. But more valuable than the moment of dying is giving Him my whole life and living for Him.”