In recent weeks I’ve found myself engrossed with the powerful writings of the Christian martyr and prophet Blessed Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador. His writings are especially poignant in the face of fearful and troubling times, not the least of which because of his own personal journey of Christian conversion that led to his speaking out on behalf of his oppressed people, challenging the unjust and violent government, and ultimately giving his life for the cause of peace and justice. It seems fitting to reflect on his wisdom today.
“A church that doesn’t provoke any crises,
a gospel that doesn’t unsettle,
a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone’s skin,
a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin
of the society in which it is being proclaimed,
what gospel is that?
Very nice, pious considerations
that don’t bother anyone,
that’s the way many would like preaching to be.
Those preachers who avoid every thorny matter
so as not to be harassed,
so as not to have conflicts and difficulties,
do not light up the world they live in.
They don’t have Peter’s courage, who told that crowd
where the bloodstained hands still were
they had killed Christ:
‘You killed him!’ [Acts 2:23]
Even though the charge could cost him his life as well,
he made it.
The gospel is courageous;
it’s the good news
of him who came to take away the world’s sins.”
—April 16, 1978