Saturday, August 06, 2011

THE SUN OF THE TRANSFIGURED ONE
On August 6, 1978, Archbishop Romero preached the sermon on the Feast of the Transfiguration, the Church's commemoration of the moment when Jesus reveals his messianic mission to his closest disciples, becoming enveloped in divine light while meditating on the top of a mountain. (Matthew 17:1-9)  It is the national patronal feast of El Salvador.

It seems to me that never before has the nation been more beautiful than today when she is bathed in the light of the sun of the [Transfigured] One,” Romero said, alluding to the Gospel account (“His face shone like the sun”). “We remember first of all the primary origin of this beautiful landscape of our country,” he said, describing the pre-Christian El Salvador like an Eden, beautiful, but untamed. “The sin of humanity submitted nature to slavery, selfishness and passions,” he said, “but in Christ we find the hope of restoration.” By allowing Salvadorans to view their country's original, natural beauty through a moral filter, Christianity's guiding light, Romero said, “enables us to see as never before the marvels of our volcanoes, lakes, rivers, plains and seas.” In the Transfigured Christ, Romero prayed, “we find the true meaning of our life, for you guide our history. You are the Word through whom God created all things and in whom God redeemed the enslaved world.”

That introduction to his Sermon on that August Sunday (the same day that Pope Paul VI passed away in Rome) summarized Romero's preaching on the Feast of the Transfiguration, which he would later call his “Transfiguration Theology,” and which we have offered as an alternative and more accurate description of Romero's social teachings than the phrase “Liberation theology.” In Romero's exegesis, Christ calls on his followers--including nations--to be transfigured; to be lifted up from sin and material desires to the dignity of the Children of God, and accept suffering and sacrifice as the birth pangs of a more just world which does not represent Heaven on earth, but the antechamber to Paradise.

Romero's Transfiguration teachings constitute a sizeable opus and include:
HAPPY FEAST OF THE TRANSFIGURATION & CELEBRATION OF THE DIVINE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.

Background:

Romero's 'Transfiguration Theology' (Spanish)
Criticism of Jon Sobrino in '76 Sermon
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