The Bishop for Migrants, Bishop Patrick Lynch, has given a homily at a special Mass marking the 99th birthday of Blessed Oscar Romero encouraging Catholics to look to the example of the martyred South American Archbishop to “respond prophetically to the suffering and injustice we see in the world around us today.”
The Mass, held in St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, on Saturday 13 August, launched a year of centenary celebrations – Oscar Romero was born in El Salvador on 15 August 1917.
Bishop Lynch recalled one of Romero’s homilies on the Good Samaritan and made parallels between the men:
“[The Good Samaritan] truly ‘sees’ the suffering: he is ‘sensitive’ to the suffering: he ‘stays’ with the suffering and he ‘speaks up’ for those who are suffering. That is precisely what Oscar Romero did in his ministry in El Salvador.”
Bishop Lynch then encouraged Christians, and indeed those around them, to be ‘prophets of God’s Mercy’ – to speak up for those who suffer and are exploited.
“This means reminding the leaders of business that the dignity of all workers – no matter how ‘menial’ their work – must be respected. This means reminding and working with Government to ensure that everything is done that can be done, through legislation and action, to eradicate such exploitation and prevent it happening in the future. This means doing all we can to bring to justice the perpetrators of such injustice.”
The Bishop concluded his homily by looking to the Catholic Church in South America and its contribution to a key aspect of the overall mission of the Church – to build a more just world in solidarity with the poor:
“That phrase ‘in solidarity with the poor’ is very important. That is precisely what Oscar Romero tried to do in El Salvador. The only way we can begin do that is, like the Good Samaritan and Romero, by truly seeing, being sensitive to, staying with and speaking up for those who suffer and are exploited in our world today… we begin that journey like the Good Samaritan and Romero by allowing ourselves be moved by the wonderful gift of God’s Mercy and compassion and going back across the road if we are tempted to pass by.”
The full text for Bishop Lynch’s Homily can be found in the top right hand corner of this page or downloaded here: