Sacrifice Ain’t Cheap…Romero’s Story
I hope all y’all are doing well…I’m not soo bad although from some of my posts, you may think that I’m a tortured soul ruminating on the deeper questions of life twice a week on this blog…uhh not really…I am blessed and lead a somewhat comfortable life…I am healthy…I have a supportive family that I see several times a week…I am employed in the profession that I was trained for in college…I have a vast network of eclectic friends that keep my social calendar pretty full…I am involved in organizations that bring meaning to my life…I could go on…but most importantly, I know that God is leading me and loving me although I am soo not worthy…(Good gracious, thank goodness I don’t always reap the consequences of my actions…His mercy endureth forever…)
So here I am counting my blessings and what not until I go to Bible Study last Wednesday…We watched a movie, “Romero,” which our Bible study leader explained to us is a good example of the type of climate that could have led to the writing of Revelation. The book of Revelation was written when “Christian churches, particularly those in the province of Asia, were going through a difficult time of social and economic pressure and even of persecution.” In Revelation, John recounts a series of visions he experienced designed to give comfort to the churches even as they were suffering for their faith…(I’m such a good Bible study student…) Our Bible study leader also explained that the movie was an example of liberation theology. Justo L. Gonzalez, who wrote the guide that we used to study Revelation, is a champion of liberation theology.
As I watched the movie, I was reminded of the famous quote, “When all is said and done, more is said than done.” Ain’t that the truth?! Thankfully, we in America are not called to sacrifice our lives in support of our faith or even our moral ideals very often…But in other countries, if you call yourself a Christian and are truly committed to the principles in the Bible, you may be subject to death. Here in this country, we go to church on Sunday, praise the Lord, drive home and eat our Sunday dinner with nary a thought of anyone “calling us on the carpet” for our beliefs. Shoot, we may even hook up a few business contacts at church…It just doesn’t have to be that serious…
In the movie, Archbishop Oscar Romero lived a somewhat comfortable life as a top bishop in El Salvador in the late ’70s. He was admired and revered, but he was also seen as a non-threat to the powers that be in El Savador at that time. During this time, the country was engaging in a civil war, and the government was against poor groups of people organizing and working to attain civil and other rights for themselves…sounds vaguely familiar, huh?
Other priests were actually disappointed that Romero was appointed to the position because they did not feel he would be involved in the plight of the poor. And at first in the movie, that is what happened. When he wasn’t conducting Mass and blessing babies, he was hobknobbing with the rich and powerful. When priests tried to tell him the government was sanctioning the murder of innocent poor people, he dismissed them. However, when one priest, Rutilio Grande, Romero’s friend, was killed, he realized that what he dismissed was true. He could no longer ignore the terrorism of the poor.
During the course of the movie, Romero witnessed the torture of other priests and was even ridiculed and jailed himself. He saw scores of people getting slaughtered and realized that many were forced to live in deplorable and inhumane conditions. And in the final scene of the movie, Romero, himself, was assassinated while he conducted mass – a true martyr for Christ. So here is a question I have for you and me too: Is faith worth sacrificing your life for? Right now, I say yes, but it has never been demanded of me either…And I pray to God it never will…