Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 24 March

Archbishop Oscar Romero with some of the young people of El Salvador.

Archbishop Oscar Romero meets some of the young people of El Salvador.

The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

John 5:15

Saint Oscar Romero

Today is the feast day of Saint Oscar Romero, who was killed while saying Mass in El Salvador in 1980.

He was made archbishop of San Salvador during a dictatorship. At the time, he was considered a safe bureaucrat.

However Monsignor Romero was changed by long nights spent listening to impoverished farm workers tell their stories, and by the murder of a close friend. These experiences brought him back to his roots among the poor in the countryside of El Salvador.

Profound change

Saint Oscar Romero experienced profound change in his life. Despite threats of violence against him, he became the brave defender of those who had nothing.

The man in today’s gospel has his life completely changed by Jesus when he is healed of paralysis. But, as Romero experienced, an individual’s transformation for the better does not always please the authorities. In the gospel, the man is asked why he is carrying his mat on the Sabbath.

How do I respond to change?

At the moment we are all being asked to change the way that we live, in order to protect those who are most vulnerable in our community. This can feel overwhelming as we struggle to adapt to this new way of living, without knowing when it might end.

But can we try to respond to this change with an open heart?

Let's reflect on the changes we are being asked to make. And, inspired by the example of Saint Oscar Romero, embrace them even though they may be difficult, knowing that we are doing the right thing.

Let us think about how the changes we are making can help us grow closer to those who are in need, in humble service, even while we have to keep a safe distance between us. 

Lent prayer

Creator God, strengthen us during this time of change. May we give witness to our hope for a new world of peace, beauty and fullness. Amen.

Saint Oscar Romero, pray for us.


Reflect on some of Saint Oscar Romero’s most inspiring quotations in this PowerPoint reflection.

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