This week, the Church in El Salvador has unveiled a new image of the Divine Savior of the World during the celebration of its patronal feast (photo). The Feast of the Transfiguration is also the national feast day in El Salvador. The name “El Salvador” means “The Savior” and is derived from this celebration: this gave Oscar A. Romero, the martyred archbishop of San Salvador, grounds to center his pastoral teaching on this Gospel story.
On the Feast of the Transfiguration … Romero took time to remember with his people the place of Salvadoran history within God’s time, salvation history. He released three of his four pastoral letters on that date, carefully situating the signs of the times, both ecclesial and societal, against the larger horizon of eschatological hope. Preaching on the synoptic narratives of the Transfiguration every sixth day of August and every second Sunday of Lent, Romero gradually crafted a theology of transfiguration.
(Pfeil.)“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 on August 6, 1978, after recasting the history of El Salvador in reference to this feast. In fact, Romero’s tendency to see the history of El Salvador under this light, is what keeps Romero from being a rebel theologian. Accordingly, we say that Romero follows a TransfigurationTheology. Romero himself tells us as much. “The Theology of the Transfiguration is telling us that the path of redemption must first pass through the Cross and Calvary,” says Romero, making it clear that the cross is his only path to Liberation. Christ invites his followers—including nations—Romero teaches, to be transfigured, and to be raised from sin and material desire to the dignity of being children of God, and to work for a more just world, which turns out to be only the prelude to heavenly salvation: “Jesus, on the heights of Tabor, is the wonderful image of liberation”.
Previously in this Blog:
Romero’s Transfiguration Theology (Spanish)
Romero’s Final Transfiguration Sermon (2011 reflection—Spanish)
Romero’s Final Transfiguration Sermon (2012 reflection)
Romero’s Final Transfiguration Sermon (2013 reflection—Spanish)