” ‘I will stay with my people’
Many of our readers will remember the assassination of Archbishop Romero of San Salvador in 1980. Killed because he stood up for his oppressed people. He made public the horrific crimes being committed, many of them by agents of the government. Because of this he was under constant threat of death. But he would not be silenced, and to those who suggested that he go into hiding or exile he said, ‘At the first sign of danger the shepherd cannot run and leave the sheep to fend for themselves. I will stay with my people.’
He was shot dead while he was saying Mass – another martyr for Christ
He was shot dead in March 1980 while he was saying Mass, another martyr for Christ. While every century of the Church has seen its share of martyrs there were many more Christians martyred in the twentieth century than in all other centuries combined. We thank God for them and for the witness they gave, but giving one’s life for Christ is asked only of the few.
We are called to stand up for our faith
All of us, however, are called to stand up for our beliefs especially today when faith and Christian values are being ignored more and more. In some situations it can take courage to admit to being a Christian. But Christ tells us not to be fearful, that He is always with us. We struggle at times to be faithful. But we are strengthened by his assurance to help, by his presence with us on the journey, and by his promise to be there at the end of our lives to present us to the Father. ‘If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in Heaven’ (Mt 10).”
– This article was published in Saint Martin Magazine, issue June 2015. For subscriptions please visit http://www.stmartin.ie (external link).