Photo courtesy of Twitter
“You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church”
“The poor broke his heart’, ‘and the wound never closed,’
No means a temperamental revolutionary; Christ Risen Crucified.
For all his compassion and pastoral dedication,
For all the intensity of his personal spirituality,
For all the affection he inspired,
We remember him not as a CARDINAL –
but as a shepherd who was a true friend to the poor.
Perhaps, he rose on the day of the Lord’s Supper,
To remind that priesthood is for service.
For him ‘feeling with the Church’ meant, sharing the agony of Christ’s Body,
The Body that was being oppressed, raped, abused and crucified.
He knew how to cry, alone, in the Garden of War.
He knew how to console, in the Calvary of violence.
He knew how to drink from the double chalice of the Altar and of the People,
With one single hand devoted to service.
Perhaps, he rose on the day of the Lord’s death,
To remind that self-gift is more powerful
Than egoism and that, love is stronger than death.
He is the image of the divine victim.
He is a Christ today, suffering in history.
He was ‘defamed, slandered, and dragged through the mud’
He knew that his witness put him in danger, but he never flinched.
With serene bravery, he remained in every circumstance
The voice of Christian compassion for the poor and
The opponent of unjust violence from any quarter.
In an era of impossible peace, in this land of lies and turmoil;
He never dramatized or mythologized the role of the priest nor of a theologian,
So as to play down the responsibility of the people.
In a world which seeks for ‘Nobel Prize’ for nothing;
In a church which seeks for power and prestige;
In an academia which craves for attention and sympathy;
In a land where people are reduced to nothing,
In a context of torture and disappearances;
In a politics of land grab, and war widows.
In a hierarchy where no one dares to talk,
He stood tall as a person who is fearless and forthright.
He set himself against ‘a merely spiritualized Church,
The Church of the sacraments, of prayer,
But without any social engagement, without any engagement with history.’
“They walk but without the inner life”: He Said,
“People are reduced to the status of ‘walking skeletons;’ He Cried.
“We want freedom not roads… freedom is what we thirst”, He Wailed.
“We have our right to develop ourselves,” He wept.
“Human values and Christian values are one and the same,” He Sobbed.
Today, he rightly stands in our thoughts and prayers
As a symbol of all those who have suffered in his tormented country.
His faithfulness and his heroic witness mark him out as a true martyr.
May his sacrifice save this land from the unrestricted violence!
May his example strengthen us to uphold justice and human dignity!
May his service foster the spirit of humanism and human rights!
May his life call injustice by its true name and to promote justice!
Perhaps, to radiate hope, he rose on the day of the resurrection,
To remind us that humanity is more powerful than violence,
That the gift of one’s life is the greatest testimony of love.
With him, ‘God has injected himself into history’.
May we, like him, be faithful to our Master!
May he rest in peace!
He is Risen; “Alleluia”.