We gathered on Sunday evening in the Calvary chapel to pray for peace and remember the life of Monsignor Oscar Romero. Many had also spent the day marching at a rally demanding immigration reform in this country. As we held our candles remembered the life of this one who held up God’s compassion for the poor, our Associate Pastor Edgar Palacios offered this prayer for peace (English translation printed here):
God of life, God of love, you who demands justice and righteousness from human beings, you who have expressed yourself fully in the life of Jesus Christ, who proclaimed the Kingdom of God for the poor,in this hour, we thank you for the work done by your servants Isaiah, Hosea, Amos and Micah; who as prophets were invited to change the unjust hearts and structures of their times.We also appreciate the work done by Paul and James, who proclaimed the peace of God, not the peace of the Empire, and thus affirmed equality of all people in the family, church, and society.We are grateful to you, O God, for you are the God of the poor, the widows, and the orphans.We thank you for Francis of Assissi, who taught universal brotherhood.And we thank you for your more contemporary servants, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Archbishop Oscar Romero, who boldly proclaimed your kingdom, the first opposing racial discrimination and supporting civil rights, and the second, through his life with the poor in El Salvador. Both believed in the resurrection of crucified peoples. Now, our God, thirty years since the assassination of Archbishop Romero, we turn to you, as he would, faced with the reality of immigrants in this country.We implore you to hear the voices of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States.Hear their voices of pain for the deportations that divide families, separating parents from their children.Hear their voices of anguish, for with the denial of the ‘right to get sick’, they have no access to health care.Hear their voices of impotence, for their vulnerability forces them to live in the shadows, in the dark, in silence, separated, without integration into society.But Lord, they are useful, necessary and indispensable. They bring prosperity and wealth to this country when they pay their taxes, as the citizens do; they bring prosperity and wealth to this country when they cultivate the fields, to produce fruits, legumes, vegetables and foods we eat; they bring prosperity and welfare to this country when they build the most beautiful buildings, when they grow and maintain the most attractive and whimsical gardens, when they clean the offices and prepare the most exquisite dishes. As immigrants, their work in the various areas of this society supports its vitality.Lord, you know them, you love them, you want them to stand up, so that their voices may be heard, so that their contributions may be recognized.Lord of Oscar Romero, grant us peace based on justice, peace based on law, peace base on equity. Touch the groups in power in this country and bring them wisdom and a vision for the future. Lord, we pray that your presence be with sisters and brothers who tomorrow and in the coming days will challenge the Representatives and Senators in Congress to support fair, humane, and comprehensive immigration reform. In particular we pray for the representatives of the churches of Jesus Christ who make up the National Council of Churches of the United States, for the Salvadoran congressmen, community representatives, and organizations. Let your Spirit give them strength and the power of conviction. Lord of peace, we ask these things in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified and is risen.