Monday, November 16, 2009
Fr. Rutillio Grande, S.J. is considered a catalyst for Romero´s own conversion. We stopped by his roadside memorial, a testament to the immidiate and repressive violence of the war years. I couldn´t help but notice that the road directly in front of the memorial, and for some distance on either side, was not paved and smooth like much of the route between Agillares and El Paisnal. Rather, it was rough and potted. Was it simply not paved? Or had someone, or many someones, at some time deliberately removed that stretch of pavement? I imagined faithful parishoners constructing a memorial - bouncing over that rough road. These questions and images pushed me further in an ever evolving realization: its not really about Rutillio. Its not about Romero. Or any of the other martyrs. Like Jesus, the Salvadoran martyrs, from the innocents at El Mozote to Ita, Dorothy, Jean, Maura, to the Archbishop, were never pointing at themselves. They were all pointing to a bigger reality - something much larger, much more powerful (for better or for worse) than themselves. The murderers put a bullets in Rutillio, using his death as a symbol to the people: maybe not as quickly, but we´re going to leave all of you to die at the roadside, too. These martyrs are the symbols of a much deeper structural violence that plagues the same people today as it did 20, 30, 40, 500 years ago. As the homilist at the UCA martyrs mass confirmed, the destruction of this most recent hurricane is not attributible to a natural disaster alone. But, for believers, death is not the end. For love is as strong as death, passion as fierce as the grave. Romero articulated what was said in every Salvadoran martyr´s death: If you kill me I will rise again in the people. And so, to each of us, a question is posed? Will you let the prophet rise in you?