Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The One We Hardly Knew

The One We Hardly Knew 

after Óscar Romero

No one can celebrate
this birth genuinely.
Certainly not those who rely on no one,

those who rely only on themselves,
those who, having it all,
look with sneered disgust

at those who have none,
those who have no need
even of you.

For them, there will be
no real celebration,
no true realization of this birth.

Only those who want,
who hunger with a gnawing pang at their very depths,
who ache for that someone

to come to them on their behalf
will finally—
after all of this—

have that Some One.
That Some One—

who comes to us now—
you have also been with us.
You, the One who came to us sometime long ago,

you are with us even now, in this crushing
lonely poverty that causes us to cry out
without a sound in our throats.

Without that wringing-out of our very souls
there could be no moment such as this
in which abundance rained down on us, unasked-for.

—Jamie Parsley

Óscar Romero (1917-1980) was Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador. He was assassinated on March 24, 1980 by a paid death squad assassin as he elevated the chalice while celebrating a funeral Mass in the chapel of La Divina Providencia Hospital in San Salvador.

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