My sisters and brothers in Christ, today is the celebration of Palm Sunday–the entrance of our Lord Jesus into Jerusalem where he will be tried and executed through crucifixion. But on that entrance, the people stood up and shouted, “The King of Glory Comes, Hallelujah!”
We too, sisters and brothers, must shout, for if we do not, the very stones will condemn our silence with their praise of Jesus! Imagine, the stones and the trees, the hills and valleys shouting out “Glory to God!” It happens every day, but we are too deaf to hear. And every day, we crucify one more valley, one more tree, one more lake for our lack of hearing their shouting.
Today is also the celebration of the passing of Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop of El Salvador. Why was he martyred? Because he stood up and shouted out–these people are God’s people! These people must too shine, for their lives, like our lives, shout out to the coming of the Kingdom! But we do not hear their shouts, not do we hear the screams of their bodies, trodden under the feat of rampant capitalism and fevered nationalism. Their cries join the cries of the earth–for they are the cries of the poor.
And Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is the response: The Lord hears the cry of the poor!
Why do we not hear their cries? Or do we hear them and ignore them? Are we unwilling to stand with Romero and live a simple life of love of neighbor and the condemnation of violence in the name of profit?
I say to you, my brothers and sisters, the United States is a religious nation, and it’s religion is the idolism of money, fame, power–of materialism without spirit. We are called to stand up and shout out against this idolism–”The King of Glory Comes! Hallelujah!” For God is with us, my brothers and sisters. He is here in your hearts. Look to each other and see. He is here in the lives of every beggar on the street, of every homeless child sleeping in a shelter tonight, of every starving mother working two jobs just to keep a roof over the heads of her children.
God is Love!