Reflection by Romero House pilgrim Alexander Duarte:
This pilgrimage has been a source of experiences and miracles for everyone and especially for María José and for me. We have shared a lot of time with people who have suffered the consequences of a war between brothers, a war that reached the Church to the point where El Salvador has seen its priests die.
Salvadorans have had to live with this pain for many years and we have seen hundreds of them in Rome as pilgrims in honor of Monsignor Óscar Romero; all happy, singing and talking about love and reconciliation, looking for ways to heal their wounds.
I always thought that it is difficult to remove resentments from the heart when those in power persecute, imprison, murder and force thousands of people into exile, to separate from their families and friends and live far away in different countries of the world.
The fear, the restlessness and the frustration of starting a whole new life takes you over and you think you can never forgive. However, Salvadorans are making a great effort to take the path of reconciliation; otherwise it would be impossible to get a country out of the pit of hate and misery.
There is no country that can prosper that way. I saw them and reflected. I thought a lot about the situation of millions of immigrants like me and I understood the message: we can seek and do justice but we must be able to forgive and live without resentment, spread the message of God, of Monsignor Romero and of all those people, like the Salvadorans, who have understood that the path of love is the way to live in peace.
On the other hand, today we share experiences with the managers in Rome of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They offered us a lot of information about refugees from Guinea, Syrian, Mali, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Eritrea and others, who come to Italy in claiming refuge and protection. They live difficult situations.
I just want to pray for them, I just want to ask, implore, and even order, as Monsignor Romero did, to stop the repression, to cease persecution, for the whole world to unite for freedom and a life of peace for all the people of the world.
It may seem like a utopia, but it will always be a utopia if those who have power in free nations do nothing for the oppressed peoples. My God, my lord, I beg you for a world of unity, peace and love. The world needs more actions for the poor and oppressed and fewer words and meetings. This is my reflection today.