María Perez Hernández, 72
Evarista Vallona Reyes, 81
María Adelfa Villanueva, 86
HOMILY STANDING BENEATH THE CROSS
AT COMUNIDAD RUTILIO GRANDE
I come from the time of Romero.
I was formed in his time.
He was part of the Church
that denounced injustice.
We were slaves of the rich.
We were paid in the salary of hunger.
I am one of the combatientes.
In the name of God, don't kill your brothers and sisters.
No soldier has to obey the law of another man.
Only God can decide.
These were Romero's last words in his last sermon.
I was in San Miguel when it happened.
Write his words because he brings the word.
His story is accurate because it froze in his throat.
We were in shock. This is the story that is reality.
We live here seeding corns and beans,
We go into the hills to gather wood
to make pesos a day.
This is a developed community.
We have this Church.
We have a school.
I am the president of the parents.
I have my beans and corn as well.
Rutilio Grande vive.
We were in Nicaragua.
Your country didn't want to let us in.
They said we were guerillas.
They stopped us.
We decided to make an activity to stop the cars.
We put sticks and stones in the street.
The police got us and put us in this dry hot place.
We grabbed him by the neck
and called him a troublemaker.
They kept us thin
and then we started getting fat
because we weren't doing anything.
Then the plane came.
taking testimony, translation, poem, portraits by Jim Bodeen
March 2006--Yakima, June, 2010
WALKING NOVEMBER EL SALVADOR/CAMINANDO NOVIEMBRE
EL SALVADOR 16 DE NOVIEMBRE, CON MEDARDO GÓMEZ
...es tan antigua como la vida misma, y tan nueva como el florecer continuo de la vida se produce cuando Dios se revela al mundo y nace la fe que reconoce a Dios como Señor y Salvador...toma actualided en cada tiempo o momento en que la vida pasa crisis y es amenazada porla muerte...declara la dependencia de Dios en los oprimidos, en su lucha por la liberación.
—La Teologia de la Vida, Medardo Gómez, Obispo, Iglesia Luterano
Surprises in the gift of the martirio
surprises me again this morning.
It's like this all day long, evanescent.
Bishop is both, like the others,
martyr and survivor. He will never die,
and lives walking the story forward.
The surprise comes from where the morning takes us.
Nobody's dying on these crosses.
Look at the flowers, look at the children,
look at the painted houses.
Jon Sobrino never was a sole survivor—
he woke in the morning as the next martyr—
the one who must keep on speaking
to tell the family story. Most recently, Los Carillos,
and their children wandering the Empire looking for work.
Imagine that. Do five minutes of research. Dolor. Sanctuary.
Ita. Dorothy. Maura, Juan. Rutilio Grande,
Oscar Romero, Seis Jesuitas, dos mujeres,
madre y hija—Elba y Celina Ramos.
Obdulio Lozano, husband and gardener.
Jon and Obdulio together now.
We're here to ask them what they need.
This is walking November in El Salvador.
Solidaridad es dar y recibir.
El evangelizador es evanelizado.
You have to lose yourself to find it, Jesus says.
Su capacidad de ser verdad buenas noticias.
Your capacity to be truly good news.
The branch gone. Cutoff and blocked.
Every piece of reality a confrontation.
A pastoral call discovered in crisis with opportunities
produced in crisis, personal crisis exclaiming,
Dios no existe—Dios es sordo y ciego—
working with people who have suffered contains hope—
Out of this, God says to Medardo in dark war time:
"You're my eyes, ears, mouth—my instruments.
You have to do this." For that reason,
it's theology of life, theology of liberation.
Teologia de la vida surge cuando la vida es amenezada.
When life is threatened, God-life surges.
Muy Luterano. Su lema principal es:
La atención por los más necesidados;
los pobres; los oprimidos; los explotados.
All of the children of God are in need.
My poor boss actually thinks the poor person is me.
Es una oposición y resistencia espiritual de los pobres
ante todo tipo de dominación, oppressión, y exploitación—
Teologia de la Vida—surge cuando la vida es amenezada.
Theology of Life—it thrives when life is threatened.
Obispo Medardo Gómez, practicality and testimonio.
El sentido del poeta. Caminando, caminando.
Y el pastor de Noruega—Sturla Stalsett:
Que nos cuentan las heridas y la vulnerabilidad.
Memories of wounds and vulnerability.
What does it mean to remember?—It’s ambiguous.
My memory is good—
and sorrowful. Es una memoria peligrosa—
una memoria que da...
continued disturbance inspiring hope.
Pecados del pueblo y pecados contra el pueblo.
Romero, Ellacuría, Sobrino—el pueblo crucificado
representa la presencia del Señor en la historia.
Forces that crucify the children of God.
What would the gospels be without the cross?
Mis heridas me cuentan algo distinto.
My wounds tell me something unique—and different.
Anyone can see God in beauty—
but to see the back side of God,
the suffering ones that one merits the name of theology.
This is a way of knowing something through the wounds.
Las heridas—que nos cuentan.
Las heridas nos hacen recordar.
Memorias nos enseñan tener respeto a los sufrimientos.
We can't love without vulnerability.
Even God cannot undo what has been done.
Walking with Medardo, and the pilgrim church of the poor
is an act of accompaniment. Didn't our hearts burn?
Walking together. Un caminar juntos y juntas.
Not a passive walk—walking together.
The 99 are not complete without the one.
Reconciliation of creation practices disvesting
our levels, nuestras niveles—a revolutionary act.
A community of one is a community of the other.
Yodo, respiro, agua, para el cuerpo.
Medardo in the morning with his telephone.
Hola, Hola, Hola, Hello. Hola, Hola, Hola. Soy Medardo.
Hola, Hola, Hola. A marching cadence.
Razor wire and gangs. Atentados. Maras. Pandillas.
Medardo driving into it all, delivering the day at breakfast.
Warmed, sweetened soy milk, torta de yema, and bread
from the Mexican Embassy, on The Day of the Dead,
accompanying huevos revueltos and tortillas.
A chunk of cheese—queso de vaca—milk of the earth,
animales no sufren enfarto, y sus cuerpos producen Vitamina C—Medardo showing me all, content to see
what I can see and let it do its work when it's over—
and when is it over? When is that?
We're on a boat, the two of us among many,
hace ocho años—looking at pictures, and Medardo says,
Si quiere escribir poemas, venga al Salvador.
Come live with us and you'll write the best poems
of your life—clearly a contract with the devil—
Ah, Luz Bel—Medardo el Obispo, tells me later—
Somos disorganizados pero no somos tonto.
No sir. Get strong enough to move.
Echarse a perder, entonces arruniar.
Medardo never asked if I was good news.
He kept bringing it to me. La buena noticia.
¿Qué es esperanza? ¿Qué es profecía?
Subversive truth, like a subversive cross,
subverts the one who dares the confrontation.
November, 2009—Walking the month of the Martyrs with Bishop MedardoGómez—
28 May 2010, Yakima, Memorial Day Weekend