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.


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