Archbishop Romero was influenced by the murder of Fr. Rutilio Grande who had worked in poor, rural communities. Grande was on his way to mass with three other priests when they were all slaughtered by machine gunfire.
Romero once said, "When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, 'If they have killed him for doing what he did, then I, too, have to walk the same path.'"
As I approach 80, how ready am I to change? How have I changed? Several decades ago I heard that if a man wanted to be a feminist he should find a strong woman to support. At the time, I considered that a weird idea. Now it sounds like a great idea. At least in that respect, I have changed.
What about all the other areas in my life such as racism? The challenge to become more human, more Christ like, will continue to my last breath.
Where else is the challenge to change? What risks can I take tomorrow and the next day and every day for the rest of my life? How ready am I to make mistakes? Not to be perfect? How ready am I to be fully alive?
"The transcendence that the church preaches is not alienation; it is not going to heaven to think about eternal life and forget about the problems on earth. It’s a transcendence from the human heart. It is entering into the reality of a child, of the poor, of those wearing rags, of the sick, of a hovel, of a shack. It is going to share with them. And from the very heart of misery, of this situation, to transcend it, to elevate it, to promote it, and to say to them, "You aren’t trash. You aren’t marginalized.' It is to say exactly the opposite, 'You are valuable.'" ~ St. Oscar Romero