Advent/Christmas reflections of Oscar Romero

December 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Mary is not an idol. The only Savior is God, Jesus Christ, but Mary is the human instrument, the daughter of Adam, the daughter of Israel, a people’s embodiment, sister of our race, who by her holiness was able to incarnate in history God’s divine life. The true homage that a Christian can make to Mary is, like her, to make the effort to incarnate God’s life in the fluctuations of our fleeting history.

December 24, 1978


Christ built his classroom of redemption among the poor – not because money is evil, but because money often makes slaves of those who worship the things of earth and forget about God.

December 25, 1978


Along with you, my dear brothers and sisters, I too need to receive the good tidings tonight. As shepherd I must announce it, but as shepherd I must also be one of those shepherds of Bethlehem and receive from the angels the news that stirs our hearts. Let us receive it, you and I, with the same simplicity and humility as those shepherds did. The more simple and humble, the more poor and detached from ourselves, the more full of troubles and problems we are, the more bewildering life’s ways, all the more must we look up to the skies and hear the great news: “A Savior is born to you.” And let us listen in chorus to that great news, sung throughout the universe: “Glory to God in the heavens, and on earth peace to those whom God loves.” (Luke 2:11, 14.

December 25, 1978

In celebrating Christmas, many Christians do exactly the opposite of what the earliest Christians did. By celebrating Christmas, they succeeded in bringing Christ into the pagan feast of the sun. Today’s Christians’ neopaganism is managing to paganize Christmas.

Jesus was not born on December 25 exactly. The Christian liturgy chose that date in order to give a Christian meaning to the Roman feast of the unvanquished sun. The pagans of the Roman Empire celebrated the sun’s rebirth during the longest night of the year. That midnight was considered as the starting point of the sun’s march, which then began to overcome the darkness. It was easy for the Christians to substitute Jesus Christ for the sun and to make the birth of Christ, Sun of Justice, coincide liturgically with the pagan celebration of the birth of the sun. The centuries that followed have proved the church’s genius, for bit by bit the meaning of Christmas pushed into oblivion the jovial pagan celebration and filled the entire world with the joy of the Redeemer’s birth. Today even unbelievers sense that something divine entered history during that night without compare. We all feel that the child born that night is a child of our family, and that the brightness of God’s glory that the angels carol makes ofthat night the loveliest day, a day when God himself offers us his peace and invites us to be men and women of good will.

What a shame that all of that Christian inspiration with which our liturgy christened a pagan festival has been betrayed by many Christians, who today surrender that spiritual conquest to paganism. To make the values of commerce and of worldly gaiety prevail over the gospel meaning of Christmas is nothing short of a cowardly surrender on the part of Christians.

A return to the spirituality of a genuine Christmas will be a noble gesture of solidarity with Christianity’s spiritual victories in the world. A celebration of Christ’s birth with a sense of adoration, love, and gratitude toward the God who loved us even to the folly of giving us his own Son, will be to arrange our life so that the peace that only God can give may brighten it like a sun.

December 15, 1978

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