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Meat is Useless

By Jaime Sevilla, M.Th., M.PM

In the homily of August 26, 1979, Mons. Romero brought to reflection several aspects of the human being and the Holy People of God. One of these reflections was about the affirmation that the flesh of Christ is a vehicle of salvation and life. With the lucidity of this reflection, Archbishop Romero called us not to rely on our own flesh, since it itself is worthless.

If our flesh is not united to Christ, instead of being an instrument of salvation, it becomes an instrument of condemnation; hence, the importance of our whole being always seeking that relationship of intimacy with Jesus Christ, since only together with God, we regain our dignity and the path to our ultimate goal, eternal life. Our saint traces us in his reflection.

You have the beginning of Genesis where God created us in His image and likeness and gave us the earth to take care of it and govern it.

While we corresponded to that love of God, everything was well; until human beings, freely, decided to break that relationship maintained with God, disobeying his mandate. In this way, we separated from our own will, from our Creator.

The consequences of that action would be very expensive. The human being was expelled from paradise. Already out of Eden, all his offspring would be marked by this original sin; and, therefore, no descendant of our first parents could be part of Eden.

But the love and mercy of God are so infinite that, despite the betrayal of human beings in the beginning, He made us a saving promise (Gen. 3:15). This promise begins to be fulfilled in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. It was possible by the key moment of the FIAT proclaimed by the Blessed Virgin Mary, through which all her being was flooded with the holiness and divinity of God. Thanks to this humble and dedicated action of the maiden of Nazareth, God incarnated in her womb, and thus, He assumed our human nature (Jn 1:14). Meditating this moment in our history, immersing ourselves in this mystery, is entering that infinite love of God; which we experience with more intensity when we unite our humanity to His divinity.

However, this redemptive work will have to go through the other stages necessary for it to be completed. The child God has to grow in age, wisdom, and grace; before God and men (Cf. Lk. 2:40). Jesus, during the development of His life, has to be knowing and understanding as a human what is the will of His Father and the mission for which He has been sent.

It was approximately 30 years of learning before beginning His public life, and He did not begin His ministry until He emerged from the waters of the Jordan River, where He was baptized by John the Baptist. The human-God has to open and go all the way of redemption so that every man and woman can travel behind Him.

That is why we have in His public life all the revelations and teachings of the Father who sent Him. It prepares us to understand the mystery and the strength of His death on the cross, the anteroom of eternal life. However, His resurrection is undoubtedly the crowning of this redemption, where the God-man transcends the man-God glorified by the heavenly Father; it is the consummate hope, the victory over the enemy that paradise had taken from us. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the irrefutable proof that, if we live together with Him, even if we die, we will have eternal life in Him.

For this reason, our holy and future Doctor of the Church, Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero, denounced in this homily that our flesh, if it is far from Christ, is useless. But apart from being a complaint, it is above all a call to all people of goodwill.

His convincing message carries within it the depth of the meaning of this phrase, because the people who had the political, military, economic and religious power of his time; they trampled, mistreated and killed the poor, innocent and magnate people of society. That human flesh that committed all these evil things, those people who violated all kinds of human rights, were useless.

How many human rights violations are committed today in different countries? Without a doubt the Romerian message remains latent, alive and illuminates, from the depths of the gospel, the actions that must be taken to stop all the abuses that are committed against the dignity of the person. The call of our martyr will always be to compassion and love; they are the components that bring us peace, justice, and dignity.

We ask our martyr to intercede for us before Jesus Christ, whom he loves so much and served with joy. Saint Oscar Romero, pray for us.

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