Plough My Account Sign Out
My Account
    View Cart

    Subtotal: $

    Checkout
    white candles burning in the dark

    Advent Readings from a Modern Martyr

    This is what Advent is: Christ living among us.

    By Oscar Romero

    November 27, 2022

    Available languages: español

    4 Comments
    4 Comments
    4 Comments
      Submit
    • MG

      This is one of my favorite articles.Poverty and illness brings us such humility. I think a lot of us are truly turned off to the commercialism of the current Christmas. People are now into panic buying and shipping. Surely you care about friends and relatives every day of the year, not just Dec 25th. Why is there mega shopping and going into debt to show others you care about them one day a year ? I think it's time to stop and study the history of the birth of Christ and then figure out how we got so crazed over Christmas without meaning. Fr Romero shows us another way of life and how to appreciate the love of Jesus.

    • Charles Ouba

      Inspiring and helps me see myself clearly from the Biblical point of view. Never realized I was that poor in God's eyes. Thank you for the Christmas message.

    • Linda Chandler

      Thank you for the wonderful quotations from Fr. Romero. Without your site, it would be difficult to find any meaningful words about Christmas at all.

    • Dick Rood

      Thank you for Oscar Romero's words which remain relevant to the society in which we live. How prescient he was!

    Advent should admonish us to discover
    in each brother or sister that we greet,
    in each friend whose hand we shake,
    in each beggar who asks for bread,
    in each worker who wants to use the right to join a union,
    in each peasant who looks for work in the coffee groves,
    the face of Christ.
    Then it would not be possible to rob them,
    to cheat them,
    to deny them their rights.
    They are Christ,
    and whatever is done to them
    Christ will take as done to himself.
    This is what Advent is:
    Christ living among us.
    December 3, 1978

    The person who feels the emptiness of hunger for God
    is the opposite of the self-sufficient person.
    In this sense, rich means the proud,
    rich means even the poor who have no property
    but who think they need nothing, not even God.
    This is the wealth that is abominable in God’s eyes,
    what the humble but forceful Virgin speaks of:
    “He sent away empty-handed the rich”
    those who think they have everything
    “and filled with good things the hungry”
    those who have need of God. (Luke 1:53.)
    December 3, 1978

    Oscar Romero

    Image courtesy of Felton Davis.

    I invite you this week, in this hour
    when our country seems to have no place for joy,
    to listen to St. Paul repeat to us:
    “Be always joyful.
    Be constant in prayer.
    In every circumstance give thanks.
    This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–17.)
    The Christian, the Christian community, must not despair.
    If someone dies in the family,
    we must not weep like people without hope.
    If the skies have darkened in our nation’s history,
    let us not lose hope.
    We are a community of hope,
    and like the Israelites in Babylon,
    let us hope for the hour of liberation.
    It will come.
    It will come because God is faithful, says St. Paul.
    This joy must be like a prayer.
    “He who called you is faithful,”
    and he will keep his promises. (1 Thessalonians 5:24.)
    December 17, 1978

    If Christ had become incarnate now
    and were a thirty-year-old man today,
    he could be here in the cathedral
    and we wouldn’t know him from the rest of you –
    a thirty-year-old man, a peasant from Nazareth,
    here in the cathedral like any peasant
    from our countryside.
    The Son of God made flesh would be here
    and we wouldn’t know him –
    one completely like us.
    December 17, 1978

    How shameful to think that perhaps pagans,
    people with no faith in Christ,
    may be better than we
    and nearer to God’s reign.
    Remember how Christ received a pagan centurion
    and told him, “I’ll go and cure your servant”?
    The centurion, full of humility and confidence,
    said, “No, Lord. I am not worthy that you go there.
    Just say a word
    and my servant will be cured.”
    Christ marveled, says the gospel, and he said,
    “Truly, I have not found such faith in Israel.” (Matthew 8:5–13; Luke 7:2–10.)
    I say:
    Christ will also say of this church:
    outside the limits of Catholicism
    perhaps there is more faith,
    more holiness.
    So we must not extinguish the Spirit.
    The Spirit is not the monopoly of a movement,
    even of a Christian movement,
    of a hierarchy, or priesthood, or religious congregation.
    The Spirit is free,
    and he wants men and women,
    wherever they are,
    to realize their vocation to find Christ,
    who became flesh to save all human flesh.
    Yes, to save all, dear brothers and sisters.
    I know that some people come to the cathedral
    who have even lost the faith or are non-Christians.
    Let them be welcome.
    And if this message is saying something to them,
    I ask them to reflect in their inner consciousness,
    for, like Christ, I can tell them:
    the kingdom of God is not far from you,
    God’s kingdom is within your heart.
    Seek it, and you will find it.
    December 17, 1978

    The Bible contains a very meaningful expression:
    The Spirit makes all things new. (See Psalm 104:30.)
    We are those who grow old,
    and we want everyone made to our aged pattern.
    The Spirit is never old;
    the Spirit is always young.
    December 17, 1978

    God keeps on saving in history.
    And so, in turning once again
    to the episode of Christ’s birth at Bethlehem,
    we come not to recall Christ’s birth twenty centuries ago,
    but to live that birth here,
    in the twentieth century, this year,
    in our own Christmas here in El Salvador.
    By the light of these Bible readings
    we must continue all the history
    that God has in his eternal mind,
    even to the concrete events
    of our abductions,
    of our tortures,
    of our own sad history.
    That is where we are to find our God.
    December 24, 1978

    This is the Christian’s joy:
    I know that I am a thought in God,
    no matter how insignificant I may be –
    the most abandoned of beings,
    one no one thinks of.
    Today, when we think of Christmas gifts,
    how many outcasts no one thinks of!
    Think to yourselves, you that are outcasts,
    you that feel you are nothing in history:
    “I know that I am a thought in God.”
    Would that my voice might reach the imprisoned
    like a ray of light, of Christmas hope –
    might say also to you, the sick,
    the elderly in the home for the aged,
    the hospital patients,
    you that live in shacks and shantytowns,
    you coffee harvesters trying to garner your only wage
    for the whole year,
    you that are tortured:
    God’s eternal purpose has thought of all of you.
    He loves you, and, like Mary,
    incarnates that thought in his womb.
    December 24, 1978

    No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas
    without being truly poor.
    The self-sufficient,
    the proud,
    those who, because they have everything,
    look down on others,
    those who have no need even of God –
    for them there will be no Christmas.
    Only the poor,
    the hungry,
    those who need someone to come on their behalf,
    will have that someone.
    That someone is God,
    Emmanuel,
    God-with-us.
    Without poverty of spirit
    there can be no abundance of God.
    December 24, 1978

    When the poor have nowhere to rest their bodies,
    and their children fleeing from the cold
    find only hammocks
    strung up in the fields and coffee groves,
    we must recall that the Savior’s good news is for all.
    The happiness of the Lord who created us
    to fulfill his salvation is everyone’s.
    December 24, 1978

    Mary is not an idol.
    The only Savior is God, Jesus Christ,
    but Mary is the human instrument,
    the daughter of Adam,
    the daughter of Israel,
    a people’s embodiment,
    sister of our race,
    who by her holiness was able to incarnate in history
    God’s divine life.
    The true homage that a Christian can make to Mary
    is, like her,
    to make the effort to incarnate God’s life
    in the fluctuations of our fleeting history.
    December 24, 1978

    Along with you, my dear brothers and sisters, I too need to receive the good tidings tonight. As shepherd I must announce it, but as shepherd I must also be one of those shepherds of Bethlehem and receive from the angels the news that stirs our hearts. Let us receive it, you and I, with the same simplicity and humility as those shepherds did. The more simple and humble, the more poor and detached from ourselves, the more full of troubles and problems we are, the more bewildering life’s ways, all the more must we look up to the skies and hear the great news: “A Savior is born to you.” And let us listen in chorus to that great news, sung throughout the universe: “Glory to God in the heavens, and on earth peace to those whom God loves.” (Luke 2:11, 14.)
    December 25, 1978

    Simeon says, “He is a sign of contradiction.” (Luke 2:34.)
    The good, and the bad who repent through him,
    will receive mercy and pardon.
    But he will also be the ruin of many,
    because the sinfulness,
    the selfishness,
    the pride of many
    will reject him.
    Christ is a stumbling block.
    And so, those who reject me do me an immense honor,
    because I somewhat resemble Jesus Christ,
    who was also a stumbling block.
    Simeon prophesied that the church, following Christ,
    would have to be like him.
    December 31, 1978

    The liberation Christ has brought is of the whole human being. The whole person must be saved: body and soul, individual and society. God’s reign must be established now on earth. That reign of God finds itself hindered, manacled, by many idolatrous misuses of money and power. Those false gods must be overthrown, just as the first evangelizers in the Americas overthrew the false gods that our natives adored. Today the idols are different. They are called money, they are called political interests, they are called national security. As idolatries, they are trying to displace God from his altar. The church declares that people can be happy only when, like the magi, they adore the one true God.
    January 7, 1979


    From The Violence of Love.

    Contributed By OscarRomero Oscar Romero

    During his three years as archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero became known as a fearless defender of the poor and suffering.

    Learn More
    4 Comments