Monday, March 24, 2014

Lent Day 17: WIGIAT? Bishop Oscar Romero

Each day during Lent, I am updating my blog using the theme of WIGIAT? or Where is God in all this?

Today, March 24, 2014, marks the 34th anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Oscar Romero, the archbishop of El Salvador. Bishop Romero was killed by a single bullet while officiating at a mass at a local hospital chapel.

In the person of Romero, we are shown an image of Christ, an image of a person who spoke of love, justice, and peace. We also see the extent that sin can lie and deceive us as human beings, and why we confess of the many things that sin has caused us to leave undone.

The people of El Salvador, and across the world continue to suffer to this day, because of systems, based on economic greed, that are not only unfair, but oppressive and murderous. As the people of Central America tried to unify to do things like feed their children from the farms they were working on, they were given the label of socialist, as an excuse to torture, rape, and murder them. When I was a child, we had refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala, who were escaping death squads. These normal, everyday people, including children, were fleeing to Canada, and not staying in our country, who supported the repressive governments.

One person who was murdered was the Rev. David Fernandez, a Lutheran pastor in El Salvador. You can read about his story, which was first relayed to me by his sister in Mexico City, here:

God is in the remembrance of those who have died living out the radical love that is our faith, and God is in the hope and promise that these deaths are not in vain, but are the seeds of a Kingdom of peace, justice, and love. As his death seemed more and more imminent, Bishop Romero said the following:

“I need to say that as a Christian I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, I will rise again in the people of El Salvador….If they manage to carry out their threats, as of now, I offer my blood for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. If God accepts the sacrifice of my life, then may my blood be the seed of liberty and the sign that hope will soon become a reality. May my death, if it is accepted by God, be for the liberation of my people, as a witness of hope in what is to come. You can tell them that if they succeed in killing me, I pardon and bless those who do it. A bishop may die, but the Church of God, which is in the people, will never die.”

The Project, has a beautiful song using Romero's words on their recent album, Martyrs Prayers. The song is called "Romero" Here's the link, for the youtube video which I can't seem to embed.

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