Gospel Subversive

Even when they call us mad,
When they call us subversives and communists
And all the epithets they put on us,
We know that we only preach
The subversive witness of the Beatitudes,
Which have turned everything upside down
To proclaim blessed the poor,
Blessed the thirsting for justice,
Blessed the suffering. [1]

–Oscar Romero

In his introduction to All Saints, a daily, Catholic and catholic guide to traditional and contemporary saints, Robert Ellsberg acknowledges, “I can truthfully say of my own life that I have learned far less about the gospel from studying theology than I have from the lives of holy people. In part this reflects the narrative structure of the Christian gospel. The truths of Christianity are verified in living witness rather than in logical syllogisms.”[2]

Of course, that narrative structure deals principally with having a passion for the Reign of God and facing the inevitable consequences of conflict with and persecution by the reigning powers.In recent decades, some sectors of the Christian churches have lived out that very narrative with both courage and fidelity amid incredible horrors, often sponsored by the U.S. government.

One of the most famous exemplars this of compromismo, or commitment, is El Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated after three years of ever-growing solidarity with the poor majority of his country. Read the rest of this entry »