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Archbishop Oscar Romero: Admit guilt
Easter is a shout of victory! No one can extinguish that life that Christ resurrected. Not even death and hatred against him and against his church will be able to overcome it. He is the victor! Just as he will flourish in an Easter of unending resurrection, so it is necessary to also accompany him in Lent, in a Holy Week that is cross, sacrifice, martyrdom . . . Happy are those who do not become offended by their cross!
Lent, then, is a call to celebrate our redemption in that difficult complex of cross and victory. Our people are very qualified . . . to preach to us of the cross; but all who have Christian faith and hope know that behind this Calvary of El Salvador is our Easter, our resurrection, and this is the hope of the Christian people.
How easy it is to denounce structural injustice, institutionalized violence, social sin! And it is true, this sin is everywhere, but where are the roots of this social sin? In the heart of every human being. Present-day society is a sort of anonymous world in which no one is willing to admit guilt and everyone is responsible. We are all sinners, and we have all contributed to this massive crime and violence in our country. Salvation begins with the human person, with human dignity, with saving every person from sin. And in Lent this is God’s call: Be converted! (From “A Pastor’s Last Homily” in Sojourners magazine, May 1980, quoted in Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings by Marie Dennis, Renny Golden, and Scott Wright, Orbis Books)
1. What is your cross? How is God calling you?
2. What do you think Oscar Romero means here by “sin”? How do you participate in or perpetuate social sin?
3. How do you work for salvation for all people?
Romero (1917–1980), archbishop of San Salvador, was martyred for his defense of the poor and the powerless.