2 John 4-9
"Be Faithful to God
in and through Difficult Times"
Today we hear about "walking in the truth" of the Gospel, which commands us to "love one another" and to acknowledge in the Incarnate Jesus Christ the abiding, saving love of God for those "who follow the law of the Lord" and "seek him with all their heart." For the days will come, as in Noah and Lot’s time, unbelieving and self-destructing generations will seek "to preserve" themselves by choosing "not to remain in the teaching" of Jesus Christ and the love of God and neighbor. But blessed are we and Christians of all times, who have believed in the promises of God’s reign and the world to come without end, if we "do not lose what we worked for but [rather] receive a full recompense."
How appropriate and hopeful it is to hear such stimulating words from today’s scripture readings on a day in which we commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the martyrdom of the six Jesuit priests and their two female companions who were killed at the University of Central America in El Salvador in 1989. It is indeed encouraging to know that these Jesuit martyrs (Segundo Montes, Ignacio Martin Baro, Juan Ramon Moreno, Armando Lopez, Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, Elba and Celina Ramos, and Ignacio Ellacuria) were not afraid of giving their lives out of love for God and their socially oppressed brothers and sisters. Their nonviolent resistance to war and systemic injustice still speaks clear and loudly against "the deceitful one and the antichrist," that is, the sociopolitical evils and economic injustice that dehumanize our world. No wonder Ellacuria, the university president, used to say that "the purpose of the Jesuit University in El Salvador is to promote the reign of God. But you can’t be for the reign of God unless you are also publicly and actively against the anti-reign" (John Dear, S.J., "Remembering the Jesuit Martyrs," National Catholic Reporter, November 16, 2009).
The Jesuit Martyrs are thus blessed, for their dedicated work to the preservation of peace, justice, and integrity of creation has received a full recompense in their people’s remembering of their prophetic witness and voices. They have certainly risen in the Salvadoran people and all peoples who believe in the gospel values of freedom, peace, and justice, and the virtues of faith, hope, and love. We are therefore invited to reflect on the prophetic lives and witness of these Saints of our time and examine how well we have loved one another and walked in the truth of God’s commandments.
Fr. Alfredo Ocampo, C.P., is the student formation director. He is stationed at St. Vincent Strambi
Community in Chicago, Illinois.