Today marks the day we remember the life Oscar Romero. He served as Archbishop in El Salvador from 1977 until 1984. He preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, walking with the poor. Talking with people about caring for the poor, the lost, the oppressed....during a time of civil war in El Salvador. His voice was one of a prophet, he proclaimed a message that called people to see the poor in their own country and to care for them...something that the other church leaders and political leaders of the time did not wish to hear.
In 1984, while presiding at a worship service, he was shot. They took him to the hospital immediately, where he died.
This is the chapel where he was leading worship.
While I did not take this picture, I did have the opportunity to visit this chapel, Romero's home and heard the story of his life and death from sisters within the community where he lived. It was on a trip to El Salvador with a group of students from the seminary four years ago.
It wasn't just that we heard stories about the preaching and teaching that Romero did as he served as Archbishop, but there were many other voices...older adults, who remember the strife of the 1980s, young adults who lost parents and even saw them killed outside of their home, and a younger generation that is hearing the stories, and learning to tell them themselves.
It was a time of struggle and strife in El Salvador and that separation between the rich and the poor can still be seen today. For me, remembering Romero...and the voices that he helped lift up...remind me of the poor, oppressed, and those living with injustice now. Across the country and across the globe we know that God has blessed us with all that we need to live lives without going hungry...but we are maybe not the best stewards of all that we have been given.
Somedays we are good at it...and others we are not.
As we continue this Lenten journey, may we be turned away from ourselves to see those around us within our community and across the globe who are in need...and may we share what God has given us all.