Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jesus and Romero

Poster for the movie 'ROMERO'
I mentioned a parallelism in my homily this weekend about Jesus getting angry at the money-changers who turned his Father’s house into a market-place. The analogy I referred to is about Archbishop Oscar Romero, as depicted in the movie “Romero,” a role played by Raul Julia. At one moment in the movie, you can see the militia taking over a church in El Salvador and when Bishop Romero goes to reclaim it, the soldiers start shooting at the tabernacle, the crucifix and the altar, spilling the consecrated hosts on the floor, showing utter disrespect to the Eucharist. Bishop Romero starts picking up the hosts, but then he leaves to return a little while later. This time he is accompanied by a large crowd of parishioners, who together move into the church with machine guns aimed at them. Nevertheless, the Bishop keeps moving in with the crowd of people, supporting one another, forming together the Body of Christ. The military people were overwhelmed by this unified body, and kept quiet while the parishioners filled every space inside the church, mingling with the soldiers, as they took over the church again. Archbishop Romero would be killed on March 24, 1980 while saying Mass, but he will be always remembered for defending his people against the oppressive Government.

The scene where Romero confronts the militia
In the same way, Jesus defended his Father’s house, showing his fiery side, his human side, expelling the money-changers with a whip, restoring respect and dignity to the temple. Eventually he too would die for his people. Jesus and Romero were both martyrs for their faith. They both saw their church under attack and did something about it. May we learn to stand together because we are the church, we are the Body of Christ. And may we always show respect to our churches, appreciating the sacrifices our forefathers did to build these beautiful places of worship.

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