Oscar Romero: What Kind of a Gospel is That?
On March 24, 1980 the Archbishop of San Salvador was assassinated during Mass. This is a man who spoke out against violence and was a deeply cherished friend of the poor.
No one was ever convicted of the crime against him.
With that background, we can appreciate this quote from him, who knew the dangers of speaking up against rebels and the necessity of standing up for the voiceless:
“A church that does not provoke any crisis, preach a gospel that does not unsettle, proclaim a word of God that does not get under anyone’s skin or does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?”
He’s got a point, doesn’t he? Imagine the opposite. What would a church look like that was sedate and all-compromising? What would a church look like whose goal was to keep everyone happy? What kind of a church would it be if it preached a gospel that had no impact, call to action or accountability?
Is that a church you would want to be a part of?
Yes, yes, so many are tempted to say. Give me a church that makes me feel good and does not ask very much of me.
The problem is, that would certainly not be the church of Jesus.
Jesus did not preach flowery sermons designed to make everyone feel good. Neither was he wishy-washy, preaching a do-whatever-you-feel-like gospel.
His way of love isn’t about sentiment. It is about the hard work of giving ourselves to him by loving others.
Jesus came so that we can live forever in heaven. We do not have to earn that. He died so that we can live.