Readings for the Romero liturgy

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The Church: called to repentance; called to prophesy

Prayers and reflections for the anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. He was assassinated March 24, 1980.

READINGS:

Roman Catholic lectionary for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A (no. 34): Ezekiel 37:12—14; Romans 8:8—11; John 11:1—45. Other suggestions: Isaiah 42:1—8; Acts 5:27—32; Luke 6:20—26

Responsorial psalm: (follows first reading)

R: With our God, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

1) Out of the depths I cry to you, O God: God, hear my voice! 2) Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.

1) If you, O God, mark iniquities, my God, who can stand? 2) But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.

1) I trust in God; my souls trusts in God's word. 2) More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for God.

1) For with our God is kindness and plenteous redemption. 2) And God will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

R: With our God, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Rite of Commitment: The Church is called to prophesy

Following communion and a communion song, pause for a moment of silent prayer. After a few moments, a member of the community rises from the congregation and goes in silence to the altar with a small candle which is then lit from the large candle near the Romero image. A service leader then calls the congregation to stand for the rite of commitment.

Leader: The prophet is a light for our world, a voice that illuminates the darkness of sin and points the way towards overcoming that darkness. We are called to be light. Take with utmost seriousness what you are doing. We do not pass this light to one another as mere ritual or inspiration, something to make us feel good and to look beautiful. We take this light as a commitment to be prophets in our world, to follow the way pointed out to us by Oscar Romero and other prophets of justice in our time—the way pointed out to us in this Lenten journey by Jesus of Nazareth.

The person who lit their candle from the Romero candle now goes out to the community and begins to spread the light.

Leader: Let us listen to the voice of Oscar Romero as he calls us to be prophets.

Romero: The church has put itself on the side of the poor and has assumed their defense.

R: Loving God, may our church, and we who are church, put ourselves on the side of the poor and assume their defense.

Romero: This means that the church incarnates itself in the world of the poor, proclaims a good news, gives hope, inspires a liberating praxis, defends the cause of the poor and participates in their destiny.

R: Loving Christ, may our church, and we who are church, become participants in your incarnation.

Romero: A Christian who does not wish to live this commitment of solidarity with the poor is not worthy of the name Christian.

R: Loving God, may our church, and we who are church, be worthy of being called Christian.

Romero: What marks the genuine church is a word...burning like the word of the prophets.

R: Loving Christ, may our church, and we who are church, take this word as our own to burn within us and light a fire in our world.

Romero: The church is in the world so as to signify and bring into being the liberating love of God, manifested in Christ. It therefore understands Christís preference for the poor, because the poor are, as (the Latin American bishops explained in their conference at Medellin in 1968), those who ëplace before the...church a challenge and a mission that it cannot sidestep and to which it must respond with a speed and boldness adequate to the urgency of the times.

R: Loving God, may we respond to the challenge and mission presented by the poor and oppressed peoples of our world with the speed and boldness adequate to the urgency of our times.

Leader (Final blessing): Go out and be light. May your word burn like the word of the prophets. May your defense of the poor and suffering, the victims of injustice and oppression, be a transforming power for our world. May your voice, your feet, your hands, become those of Christ, building up the reign of God in our human history. And may God bless us, the Creator, Redeemer, and Breath of our Life.

Amen


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