Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
I cannot hear this passage from the Gospel of John and not think of Archbishop Oscar Romero. As the most visible figure of the Church at the beginning of his country’s civil war, his is a powerful example of someone whose God-given vocation could not be conquered by death. He is quoted as saying, “If I am killed, I shall rise again in the Salvadoran people.” Anyone who has lived in or visited El Salvador knows that to be true.
Yet it wasn’t Romero who rose in the Salvadoran people, but his faith in God. His faith that life with ultimately overcome death, that oppression will one day end, that our troubles will be turned into God’s glory.
In two days time, we commemorate the 35th year since Romero was assassinated while presiding at the Eucharist. I am sure that he had doubts along the way, like us all. But we are each invited in our own way into the Paschal mystery of Christ—a life, death, and resurrection that always point to God.
—Michael Rozier, S.J. of the Central Southern Jesuit province, was ordained a priest last June. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies in Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan.
It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view. The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts; it is beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is the Lord’s work…
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the Master Builder and the worker. We are workers, but not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own.
—Words attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero
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