Luke the Evangelist vs. Oscar Romero

The Faithful Four continues today as Luke the Evangelist and Oscar Romero vie for a shot at Frances Perkins and the coveted Golden Halo. To get to this point, Oscar sailed past Elizabeth Ann Seton, Lucy, and Florence Li Tim-Oi while Luke defeated Absalom Jones, John Donne, and Dorothy Day.

In yesterday’s contest, after Hilda of Whitby jumped out to a slim early lead, Frances Perkins stormed past her like Spectacular Bid on the inside rail and cruised to a 61% to 39% victory with nearly 5,600 votes cast.

Voting for the Golden Halo will commence at 8:00 am Eastern Time on Spy Wednesday and the winner will be announced at 8:00 am on Maundy Thursday. Scott and Tim share this information and discuss the process for nominating saints for Lent Madness 2014 in their most recent Monday Madness video. And speaking of videos, don’t forget to watch the archbishop’s commentary about today’s match-up from Maple Anglican — AND they answer the question that many have been asking “Why is Wednesday in Holy Week called Spy Wednesday?”

st-luke (1)Luke the Evangelist

It is true that no one actually knows the name of the author of Luke-Acts. However, whoever it is took “Luke” as a pen name, writing in first person about adventures in the early church in the guise of a Gentile, a physician, and a faithful companion. Whoever “Luke” was, the author has shared the good news of God in Christ in ways that form me on a daily basis.

Because of Luke, we hear the angel messengers proclaim “Do not be afraid” to Mary and the shepherds in the fields. Because of Luke, we hear Mary sing the Magnificat and with Simeon see the Savior whom God has prepared for all the world to see.

Because of Luke, we hear Jesus proclaim “Blessed are you who are poor” and know the story of the poor man Lazarus brought to rest with his father Abraham. Because of Luke, we see Jesus call the wealthy and despised tax collector Zacchaeus by name and hear him proclaim, “Salvation has come to this house.”

Because of Luke, we hear the story of the Samaritan who teaches us to be a neighbor to all. Because of Luke, we hear the story of the St._Catherine_Cathedral,_Luke_the_Evangelist,_Saint-Petersbergwastrel son welcomed home by his extravagant father.

Because of Luke, we meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus after the resurrection and see him revealed in the breaking of the bread. Because of Luke, we see the Holy Spirit arrive on the day of Pentecost.

Because of Luke, we see how 100 men and women can turn the known world upside-down. Because of Luke, we learn along with Peter that God has called no one unclean.

Through Luke, we meet John’s mother Elizabeth, Anna the prophet, Stephen the deacon, Cornelius the Roman Centurion, an unnamed Eunuch from Ethiopia, Lydia the businesswoman and homeowner. Through Luke we meet Saul the persecutor and Paul the missionary.

PARIS_~1There is no doubt that the stories of Luke are an indelible part of my understanding of Jesus’ life and ministry and of the work of the Church.

But for me there’s something intangible, too, about Luke’s message. Shot through Luke’s works is a deep understanding of all being welcome, all being known, all being forgiven, all being loved. And it is due to Luke that I discovered that I too am called to convey this message of welcome and love and belonging to the world.

I simply cannot imagine my faith without the words and witness of Luke.

Laura Toepfer

RomeroOscar Romero

Palm Sunday 2013 marked the 33rd year since the assassination of Archbishop Romero. It has been thirty-three years since he was killed, saying mass for the few nuns and cancer patients in the hospice where he chose to live, even as the highest Church official in El Salvador.

For me, the hardest aspect of Romero’s story is that there is no clear-cut happy ending; there is no moment you can point to when “it gets better.” He lasted only three years as archbishop, then he was killed by the death squads who roamed his country. The government would not even let him be buried in peace: the funeral was the scene of a riot. From a purely rational standpoint, he failed.

And yet…his ministry reflected the love of God Incarnate in a way that few others have.  Romero so believed in a God made human that it was impossible for him to view his fellow humans with anything less than the devotion he reserved for God. God became human in Jesus, and now all humanity was no less holy, no less worthy than Christ –and not far off, in a distant heaven, but here and now.

That sounds like a pretty treatise, but for Romero, nothing was more urgent, or relevant, than the Incarnation. It was life and romerogentedeath. When he preached, he gave voice and affirmation to thousands who felt themselves punished and abandoned by God and the Church. When he said that God saw the suffering of the poor, and wanted it to end, he embodied God’s love for them in a tangible way. When he read out the names of the desaparecidos on the radio, and handed them to the pope, it was a sign that God, too, remembered. When he called out the death squads, and asked them to repent, Romero made the gospel real for a struggling people that needed it.

oscar-romeroRomero always said he was unafraid of death, because he “believed in resurrection; he would rise again in the Salvadoran people.” And indeed, after his death, it was the people who kept his memory alive. It was the people of El Salvador who turned out en masse for his funeral. It was the people who turned his grave into a shrine, declared him presente at rallies, remembered his words, and kept on struggling for justice, because they believed in the gospel Romero preached. They believed in the God Romero knew. And they had begun to see themselves as Romero did — as inherently dignified, remembered, and loved by God.

Romero lives on, by virtue of the country he loved, the people he continues to inspire, and through the gospel he died to live.

Romero presente.

Megan Castellan


Luke the Evangelist vs. Oscar Romero

  • Luke the Evangelist (56%, 2,162 Votes)
  • Oscar Romero (44%, 1,670 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,831

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105 Comments to "Luke the Evangelist vs. Oscar Romero"

  1. March 26, 2013 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget to check out the Archbishops new video:

    • Mari's Gravatar Mari
      March 26, 2013 - 8:40 am | Permalink

      I recently read the novel Dear and Glorious Physician. I have a new love for Lucanus (Luke).

      • March 26, 2013 - 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I love that book. I read it twice, but many years ago. I recently came across a copy in our library’s book sale and am planning to read it once again!

        • Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
          March 26, 2013 - 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Love DGP as well!! Great idea to read it again!

    • Br. Tom Beveridge, OSL's Gravatar Br. Tom Beveridge, OSL
      March 26, 2013 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

      This is a tough one because I hold Oscar Romero’s memory in a very special place in my heart. But I’m voting for Luke because Oscar said he believed in the Resurrection, therefore wasn’t afraid to die. And it is Luke’s account of the Emmas story that provides uw with that kind of assurance.

      • Diane Lynch's Gravatar Diane Lynch
        March 26, 2013 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Ditto!! 🙂

  2. Meredyth's Gravatar Meredyth
    March 26, 2013 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Oscar Romero — PRESENTE

  3. Rev. John's Gravatar Rev. John
    March 26, 2013 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    I think Oscar will probably win this one, but I must go with Luke – without whom so much would be lost to time.

  4. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    March 26, 2013 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I may have voted for Luck but I disagree that Oscar failed. He is a modern day martyr for Christ as all of those who went to the arena in the early history of the church. He is an example of the strength of faith we all need to have especially in this day and age.

    I came to know and respect Oscar and a great deal of other I know nothing about all because of Lentmadness. Thank you!

  5. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    March 26, 2013 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Luke wrote it, thanks be to God; but Romero lived it.

    • Greta's Gravatar Greta
      March 26, 2013 - 8:45 am | Permalink

      Hey, that’s exactly what I was going to write! Romero presente!

    • Dnzswithwombats's Gravatar Dnzswithwombats
      March 26, 2013 - 11:07 am | Permalink

      Well-said, Fiona!

      “Luke wrote it, thanks be to God; but Romero lived it.”

      May we all be given the strength to do likewise!

      • Mel's Gravatar Mel
        March 26, 2013 - 2:04 pm | Permalink

        How do you know Luke didn’t live it also.

        With what he wrote I would assume he lived it also.

    • March 26, 2013 - 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Amen – and it’s what I aspire to; but I had to vote for Luke – the Gospel and the Book of Acts were the first scripture I ever read and it was that scripture that brought me to the body of Christ.

  6. ClayOla Gitane's Gravatar ClayOla Gitane
    March 26, 2013 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    Well Oscar’s dedication to the poor was exemplary; but he knew this as a tenet of Christianity because of Luke’s writing, so I would have to go with Luke.

  7. Linda's Gravatar Linda
    March 26, 2013 - 8:23 am | Permalink

    One of the toughest choices thus far.

  8. Maggie Feczko's Gravatar Maggie Feczko
    March 26, 2013 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    This is painful! I have always believed that Oscar Romero was deserving of the Golden Halo but Luke’s celebrity blogger said it so well. Luke’s stories and language contain the essence of my faith. His Gospel is so rich and significant and despite my deep admiration for O.R., I voted for Luke.

  9. A Maine Woman's Gravatar A Maine Woman
    March 26, 2013 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Without Luke’s words, would any of us know the works?

  10. Marj's Gravatar Marj
    March 26, 2013 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:26-29. This is why I voted for Oscar Romero.

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      March 26, 2013 - 10:13 am | Permalink

      Me too — and had the same passage from John in mind when I voted.

    • Gloria's Gravatar Gloria
      March 26, 2013 - 11:57 am | Permalink

      Ibid. While I did not have the verse in mind the message is the same. Here was a man who did not walk with Jesus yet came to know him and to act on the message of Jesus.

  11. Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson's Gravatar Aleathia (Dolores) Nicholson
    March 26, 2013 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    It is amazing and mysterious annd somehow fitting that the most we know of the wonders of God come from one whose identity we really do not know. The Magnificat alone would be enough to venerate Luke, whoever he was and whoever he is as one who has probably influenced more of us than can even be imagined to be followers of Jesus Christ, Son of God, who once again and forevermore is on the road to true Life Everlasting.

  12. Gwin Hanahan's Gravatar Gwin Hanahan
    March 26, 2013 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    The writer of Luke-Acts spoke to me early and often in discernment. I will stay and hear more.

    • March 26, 2013 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      As it happened to me, Gwin. I search and I find, and then find more.

  13. March 26, 2013 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure “Luke” wrote the book with his name on it. (Or “Acts” for that matter.) I know Romero lived and for many years his life was under threat of death or torture. Serving the God he loved, he walked the Jesus way anyway. His sweat, tears and courage drenched his people. Cowardly Evil stole his breath, but his spirit lives with God and is presente with God’s people every day. I am profoundly grateful for whoever “Luke” was and the witness he bore. But Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez and servants like him put flesh and blood on scripture. Without that, words fade. bendiciónes

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      March 26, 2013 - 10:13 am | Permalink


  14. Marguerite's Gravatar Marguerite
    March 26, 2013 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Luke– for The Prodigal Son.

  15. March 26, 2013 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    Laura Toepfer was spot on about Luke. His Gospel called me as no other and planted seeds still springing up. I agree 100% with her conclusions, especially, “I simply cannot imagine my faith without the words and witness of Luke.” (For a coincidental example, see my post on my blog from yesterday about the Good Thief That being said, Oscar Romero’s death woke me up when young to the sometimes ugly reality of the world. Yet, his life continues to speak about how we don’t have to give into it. We are the body of Christ. We are the church and have blessings to share. Like others, I don’t see a vote for one saint as a rejection of another. They are already winners – thanks be to God! Perhaps our nation and world needs to be reminded of Oscar in these times. The Gospel leads us to the revealed Christ. Romero was one who believed and lived it despite any consequences. He has my vote for today.

  16. Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
    March 26, 2013 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Getting ready for tomorrow’s big vote Cornelians might not know that Frances Perkins was on the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations there after she left the Federal Government. Go Frances!

    • Liz O'Donnell's Gravatar Liz O'Donnell
      March 26, 2013 - 10:47 am | Permalink

      As a Cornelian in the early 60’s I do indeed remember Frances Perkins. I often saw her in the bookstore in her black hat, black coat, sensible shoes with her black purse tucked under her arm. Now Im in awe of just having been in her presence.

      • Robert Kent's Gravatar Robert Kent
        March 26, 2013 - 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Wow, that is so wonderful! You were so lucky to be there then!

  17. linda of new orleans's Gravatar linda of new orleans
    March 26, 2013 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    were it not for Luke’s words maybe Oscar would not have had his faith….whoever Luke was-he may have been many people. or just one. i can not decide. oscar lived it…Luke wrote it. they are both winners. i have to wait on this one.

  18. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    March 26, 2013 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    I was totally prepared to vote for Oscar today, especially because of the ambiguity about who Luke was, which has bothered me the whole season. Then Laurie T.’s excellent writeup swayed me. So it’s Luke for me today, but with all props to Oscar!

  19. Deborah Anne's Gravatar Deborah Anne
    March 26, 2013 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    A very difficult choice, made more so by the compelling arguments provided by Laura and Megan. Luke is the foundation on which Romero acted. I voted for Luke.

  20. March 26, 2013 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    Reflecting on my choices throughout Lent Madness, I see a pattern: voting for the modern saints. For me, these brave – and holy – men and women challenge us to move out of our comfort zone of worship inside our churches and honoring what was, compelling us to action and confronting the injustice still rampant in the world. The early saints paved the way for those that followed, and contemporary saints such as Frances Perkins and Oscar Romero remind us that God’s – and our – work in this world is far from finished and demonstrate how one person can make a difference, even in today’s world.

    • Katie's Gravatar Katie
      March 27, 2013 - 1:25 am | Permalink

      I feel the same way! I hadn’t noticed it until you pointed it out.

  21. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    March 26, 2013 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Laura Toepfer’s fantastic writeup said it all – and made my choice today much easier than I thought it would be: it’s Luke for me, for all the reasons she mentioned.

    And that’s some really, really Good News! 😉

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      March 26, 2013 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Yes. Yes!
      -the other Barbara

      • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
        March 26, 2013 - 5:23 pm | Permalink


  22. March 26, 2013 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Ohmydog! Hilda was ROBBED!!

    • Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
      March 26, 2013 - 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Marceline Hilda was robbed! A fact that I will be bitter about for sometime to come. Strange that a whole lot of votes came from nowhere…the most votes I think of any match up to date. Now I’m not saying people were “stuffing the ballot box” but….

  23. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    March 26, 2013 - 9:21 am | Permalink


  24. Judy's Gravatar Judy
    March 26, 2013 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    Oscar lived out the message Luke brought to us and paid dearly for it. We are all called, but few heed

    • Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
      March 26, 2013 - 9:49 am | Permalink

      I agree with others who woke up before me. Laura did a magnificent job of reminding us of the value of Luke to all Christians. He set the stage and Oscar became a star in the drama of which all Christians should play a part in. Luke should be awarded the Golden Halo tomorrow.

  25. March 26, 2013 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    Luke. Got to be. Without Luke…we would so short on sermon material. We would not any real scope on Jesus and his amazing ministry with women and children. What would Journey to Adulthood do without Luke? Without Jesus hanging out in town after his Bar Mitzvah, J2A would have no signature scripture for the best curriculum on the planet! And…if Luke does not make it to the big dance tomorrow…then every quarter of my bracket will have been wrong. So Luke can save me!

    • Susan Chacon's Gravatar Susan Chacon
      March 26, 2013 - 10:55 am | Permalink

      Not only J2A, but Catechesis of the Good Shepherd too. It’s amazing how Luke speaks to children.

  26. Peg's Gravatar Peg
    March 26, 2013 - 9:50 am | Permalink

    Laura Toepfer articulated Luke’s legacy beautifully. Saints like Oscar Romero and sinners like me carry his words and ponder them in our hearts. In times of trouble, the words are there, to comfort, to guide, to give courage to the marvelous souls celebrated in Lent Madness.

  27. March 26, 2013 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Word: Romero

  28. carla's Gravatar carla
    March 26, 2013 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    It is time for Romero!

  29. Aileen Ryder's Gravatar Aileen Ryder
    March 26, 2013 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    I knew I would be voting for Romero today. Nevertheless, I must thank Laura for her write up of Luke: Your post on the evangelist caused me to pause and truly appreciate all he has offered us.
    I’m maintaining my trend if voting for the modern saint this Lent Madness.

  30. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    March 26, 2013 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    Oscar Romero has been my choice from the very beginning. Must stand fast now, though I feel torn, for sure. Love Luke and give thanks always for his words.

  31. March 26, 2013 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Romero may be presente, as all members of the Church Victorious, but it is only because of the ministry of Luke. We all can be presente because of the ministry of Luke.

    As important as Archbishop Romero may be, and he IS important (not was), I’m going with the cause, not the result. Luke.

  32. Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
    March 26, 2013 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    If there was no Luke would Oscar be able to proclaim as eloquently and passionately “blessed are the poor?” I’m not so sure. As a social worker and a priest, as hard as this choice is, it must be this great Evangelist.

  33. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    March 26, 2013 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    As much as I love Luke the Evangelist, I voted for Archbishop Romero. In religious art each saint has a nimbus, and the persons of the Holy Trinity have three rays on theirs. Luke, therefore, already has a golden halo. Wearing “two hats,” as it were, would seem a bit awkward, and I think that Abp. Romero deserves his.

  34. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    March 26, 2013 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Basing my vote on who’s ministry has had the greatest impact in the greatest number of people, it has to be Luke. Great write up from Laurie. Luke’s words are inbedded in our hearts and souls, ever informing our faith and work. Also must honor the home parish of my growing-up years, the one that sent us forth and supported us all through my husband’s seminary years and where he was ordained to the diaconate; the one where two of our sons were baptized, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando, Florida.

  35. The Holy Fool's Gravatar The Holy Fool
    March 26, 2013 - 10:50 am | Permalink


  36. Natalie Doyle-Hennin, Ph.D.'s Gravatar Natalie Doyle-Hennin, Ph.D.
    March 26, 2013 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Preach it, Celebrity Blogger Laura. Oscar Romero’s courage in the face of the violence and injustice waged on his flock is an inspiration to those of us who take for granted our freedoms.

    However, reading Luke/Acts again in the days after Easter several years ago enabled me for the first time to put myself in the place of Jesus’ friends who had holed themselves up after receiving the news of his resurrection, and were terrified about its potential consequences for them. I relived the apostles’ terror through Luke et al.’s writing, their mood swings, and eventual “Aha” moment.

    The examples she cites — especially the story of the trip to Emmaus where Jesus again became known in the breaking of the bread — demonstrates that the roads we walk through life with apparent strangers are no less than sharing the journey with someone who should represent Christ to us.

    Oscar will be back, I am certain. For laying the ground on which Oscar walked, preached, and subsequently was martyred, I must vote for Luke today.

  37. March 26, 2013 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Romero presente.

  38. Lois Phillips's Gravatar Lois Phillips
    March 26, 2013 - 11:12 am | Permalink

    The story of Jesus meeting the disciples on the road to Emmaus still gets me every time. Luke gets my vote.

  39. March 26, 2013 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Romero was remarkable, but I voted for Luke. For me, Luke/Acts communicate what Christianity is all about and I doubt seriously I would consider myself “Christian” without that persistent, gentle, and loving voice to call, comfort and guide me.

  40. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    March 26, 2013 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    I have voted for both of these all the way; now I must choose between them. I am choosing Luke – for all the reasons in the blog and many of the comments. the stories in the Gospel of Luke and in the Acts make the pathways for saints of all time to walk in. And if Luke takes this round the battle for the Golden Halo will be an epic between a modern and historic saint. How mad is that!

  41. linda of new orleans's Gravatar linda of new orleans
    March 26, 2013 - 11:35 am | Permalink

    after reading other comments which were much like mine i have decided it will be Luke for me.

  42. BHamilton's Gravatar BHamilton
    March 26, 2013 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    Every December we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. I even taught a Sunday School lesson with it thus year. Without Luke’s poetic words and Linus’ superb delivery, how many people out there would think that Christmas is all about a great big shiny pink aluminum tree?

    • Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
      March 26, 2013 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

      BHamilton, this comment is one of the many reasons I love you to bits.

  43. JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
    March 26, 2013 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    Luke was not Romero’s foundation or cause – Christ was.

    Luke’s telling of gospel stories is finely-crafted, the parables are pithy and so valuable, and the Magnificat a beautiful paraphrase of similar songs. His reputation as gospeller is ‘the inclusive one’ and I’m told his Greek is very cultured, very fine. We need that beauty in the church; it is indeed inspirational. But Romero is one who saw the contrasts between his own fine and relatively comfortable life, his neighbours’ plight, and the message (not the medium) of the gospel. He didn’t just preach to others – he listened, too, and despite clear and present danger and with little support from those in authority he set aside privilege to do God’s real work in the world, working for justice, living the love of Christ among suffering people. That is the witness I need – the translation from story into action. Incarnation, indeed! Romero.

  44. Mary's Gravatar Mary
    March 26, 2013 - 11:46 am | Permalink

    Two beautifully written and moving commentaries. Thanks to the writers for their reflections.

    • Johannas Jordan's Gravatar Johannas Jordan
      March 26, 2013 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I say Amen! to Mary’s comment. And echo others on the difficulty of the choice and the wonders of both men.

  45. March 26, 2013 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    Yesterday’s choice between Hilda of Whitby and Frances Perkins was ARGH! Today’s choice between Luke the Evangelist and Oscar Romero is AI-I-I-YEE-E-E-E-E-E! How could the SEC be so cruel to a humble friaress as to pit the patron saint of my religious order against my greatest contemporary role model in the faith?? Agonies of prayer have ensued!! Upon rising from torn and bloodied knees, I discern that, dearly as I love the witness of Saint Romero of the Americas, without Doctor Luke there might not have been teachings and models for Romero — and all of us who follow the Christ — to emulate. Therefore, secure in the knowledge that all are loved by God, I cast my ballot for Luke.

    • Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
      March 26, 2013 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Amen to Sr. Cynthia’s latest post. For all the same reasons, I vote for Luke.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      March 26, 2013 - 1:36 pm | Permalink

      : )
      I see the beginnings of DSM-IV entry for Lent Madness 2014 in your post.

      Lent Madness: A form of seasonal affective disorder characterised by cries of anguish, sometimes accompanied by outbursts of hymn tunes, scripture quotations and chanting the names of holy men and women. There is a marked tendency to blame others, specifically a higher power known to sufferers as “SEC”, for the difficulties experienced. Also ferrets. Incidence peaks Feb -Apr (variable).
      Degrees of Lent Madness:
      LM1: This is hard
      LM2: This is impossible
      LM3: ARGH
      LM4: AI-I-I-YEE-E-E-E-E-E

      • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
        March 26, 2013 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

        Brilliant! (Especially the ferrets!) NOTE– LM treatment options are under study, but preliminary findings indicate some mitigation of symptoms is possible using a cocktail approach incorporating varying doses of kitsch, snark, and beverages consumed in Official Coffee Mugs. Related syndrome: Lent Madness Withdrawal.

        • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
          March 26, 2013 - 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Yes of course – LMW!! heh (oh, she laughs now, but come Thurs…deep despair).
          Bless you for adding treatment options. May Dr. Luke smile upon you and your gift for healing.

  46. Sarah Lawton's Gravatar Sarah Lawton
    March 26, 2013 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic write-ups, both of you.

    I hold the Gospel of Luke deep in my heart. I look forward to hearing Acts read out in the coming season.

    But for me it has to be Oscar Romero, whose ministry from 1977-1980 was as close to walking the way of the cross as any I have ever heard or known. An icon of Christ for our own time.

    As Megan mentions, March 24, the anniversary of Oscar’s death, fell on Palm Sunday this year, so we commemorated him on another day in 2013. But how appropriate that our epistle reading for Palm Sunday was Phillippians 2, because Oscar Romero lived these words:

    Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
    who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
    but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
    And being found in human form,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

    When Romero stood in the cathedral pulpit on March 23, 1980 and called on the soldiers in the name of God to stop the tortures and the killing, he knew he was already marked for death. Still he kept walking the way, obedient to the point of death. “Let that same mind be in you that is in Christ Jesus.”

    It’s hard to describe what Oscar Romero means to the people of El Salvador (“the Savior”) or to any who have had the privilege of accompanying their struggle through brutal civil war and rebuilding. If you ever have a chance to go on pilgrimage to El Salvador–take it! Your heart will be broken and filled.

    Oscar Romero was a deeply spiritual person, a man of prayer and study. Surely in those years he breathed the Magnificat in and out. Most of us will not be archbishops confronting the death squads, surely; but we can follow his example of magnifying God by seeking and loving Christ in every person, even, nay especially, the most lowly. Such a simple and joyful promise; yet it tends to lead us to the via dolorosa. And still we rejoice: Holy is God’s Name!

    Oscar Romero shows us how we might tell and live the Gospel in our time.
    Oscar Romero, Presente!

    • Lee's Gravatar Lee
      March 26, 2013 - 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for these words. Romero’s testimony lives on in the people of El Salvador and will continue to inspire so many. And even though he lost to Luke, he has my heart.

  47. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    March 26, 2013 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The validity of Kuke’s works is reflected in the actions of Oscar Romero. So somehow for my journey the call to remain present comes clearly from the life and faith on action of the archbishop so Oscar it is

  48. Judy's Gravatar Judy
    March 26, 2013 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    My Bishop (Prince Singh) often prays for contemporaries as Saints. I’m drawn to modern day folks who are living out the faith in their actions. So Romero for me. I do love the quote shared earlier however: Luke wrote it…Romero lived it. Perhaps this should be on the new Golden Halo mug or tee shirt! Could fill in the blank for whoever wins the halo!

  49. March 26, 2013 - 1:12 pm | Permalink


    I am finally decided by the day. Today. My day in court. What God has made clean, you must not call unclean.

  50. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    March 26, 2013 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    This match-up should be the finals. I hate having to choose between these two and wish Oscar Romero had been pitted against Frances Perkins instead. The matchups between the modern and the ancient (and seminal) are thought- and prayer-provoking as they should be, but almost apples and oranges. Maybe next year the bracket could be drawn to “pit” contemporaries, or nearer-contemporaries, with the finalists pitting the two eras? Or maybe not? Something to think about anyway. Voting for Luke but wishing Oscar was still in.

  51. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    March 26, 2013 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Luke! For all the reasons above, and because we share a name (meaning light).

  52. Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
    March 26, 2013 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    So pleased there will be 50-day reflections to follow. Such thoughtful and inspiring writers. Makes the conclusion of LM a little less painful.
    Today: Archbishop Romero. Learned of him during Central America/accompaniment project of the Wisconsin (then) Conference of Churches.

  53. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    March 26, 2013 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I had to go with Luke though I wanted to go with Romero. But where would we be if Luke hadn’t bothered to collect his thoughts and put them down for the ages? Tomorrow’s going to be a rough Spy Wednesday!

  54. dr.primrose's Gravatar dr.primrose
    March 26, 2013 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

    “He has shown the strength of his arm,
    he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

    “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
    and has lifted up the lowly.

    “He has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.”

    Luke wrote it; Oscar lived it. What a choice!

  55. Blair Bickford's Gravatar Blair Bickford
    March 26, 2013 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

    So sorry about these choices! Luke for me. Learned from Luke ..however am impressed w/ Romero example/living out his learning of Luke’s Gospel. LM: already in withdrawal mode..enjoyed the learning. Your writers are excellent! This online community is fascinating and certainly broadens my thinking and enhances my faith. Thank you all!

  56. March 26, 2013 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful write-ups today. Lots of discussion for this one; I let my daughter choose and she went with Luke , but it was not an easy choice for her (I was leaning towards Romero, myself, but would have had to ponder longer if it had been my day to pick…)

    • Sarah Lawton's Gravatar Sarah Lawton
      March 26, 2013 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Anne-Marie, why don’t you both vote? My daughter and I are casting our own. Most the same, a few not. My husband also votes, but he tends to follow my lead 🙂

      • March 26, 2013 - 8:41 pm | Permalink

        This year, if we can’t come to a consensus, we take turns (although one time we had a dead heat, since the two year old couldn’t be taught to say either Damien or Frances– then we flipped a coin). Also we only have the one computer. 🙂

  57. Lisa Mitchell's Gravatar Lisa Mitchell
    March 26, 2013 - 4:54 pm | Permalink

    *wail!* But I want to vote for both of them!

  58. Anne of Memphis's Gravatar Anne of Memphis
    March 26, 2013 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Luke! Luke! Luke! And Hilda was robbed!!

    • March 26, 2013 - 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and yes!

      • Sarah R.'s Gravatar Sarah R.
        March 26, 2013 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Hilda was robbed which is why tomorrow I’m voting not-Perkins.

        • March 26, 2013 - 6:51 pm | Permalink

          I wouldn’t mind so much if the extra people who vote for Frances Perkins bothered to play everyday, but obviously from the vote counts they don’t — it just kind of ruins the game. I’m only still here because I took this on as a Lenten discipline — I’ve learned a lot; it has not been an entirely enjoyable experience, but it is Lent after all!

          • Sarah Lawton's Gravatar Sarah Lawton
            March 26, 2013 - 7:07 pm | Permalink

            I’ve been disappointed at times (Absalom Jones!) but am trying to be grateful for -every- vote for -every- saint. Because reaching out to and involving many people, even those outside our church, is kind of the main point, no? Even if some of them don’t stay for the whole service or know when to kneel or stand or cross themselves 🙂

          • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
            March 26, 2013 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Sister Mary Winifred, when I saw the tally of Hilda -Frances, I thought the dept. Of labor had leapt into the fray. It’s true that anyone can play, and jump in or out of LM at will. Still, it’d be interesting to know what the outcome would have been with the “usual suspects” voting.
            Perhaps some of the guest voters might be interested in LM 2014, or in checking out Frances’ home church in Maine!
            Also, I agree LM is a difficult discipline to pursue. It IS madness to choose the “better” saint—they all have their halos.
            (But, still, I want My Saint to Win!)

          • Diane Amison-Loring's Gravatar Diane Amison-Loring
            March 26, 2013 - 11:20 pm | Permalink

            I agree, Sister. You got it.
            The numbers were pretty obvious.

          • March 27, 2013 - 3:12 am | Permalink

            And if people read all of the comments for every day, they will see that I am not the first or only person to write about this. The hardest part about Lent Madness, for me, is not that one or another saint loses, it’s reading the comments and trying to hear/understand what someone else is saying and thinking when that is vastly different from my own opinion. Sure, I wanted Hilda to win — but I’m also a child of the segregated South, and wanted Jonathan Daniels to win, too . . . his life, anybody’s life, is more important than a job, but obviously a lot of people do not agree with me, and a few even said so. Many, including the SEC, joked and complained loud and long about the people of Hawai’i — in my opinion, this year’s game is far meaner and seems more skewed than last year’s . . . but time will tell.

  59. March 26, 2013 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Last year I had occasion to take deep breaths and remind myself, Gravity kills! This year it’s easier for me not to judge who votes for what reasons. Judging is above my pay grade. I’m committed to this game for the game’s sake. Like, the seat at the right hand is already taken and who cares where who else is in the throng. I just hope to show up there myself someday.

  60. JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
    March 26, 2013 - 7:24 pm | Permalink

    “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a website owner who posted early in the morning to allow voters on his website. He agreed to allow them one vote per day, and sent them out onto his website…” (see Mt 20 for Jesus’ challenging take on fair/no fair when it comes to latecomers)

    All fun and fair still, in my neck of the woods. Shamelessly politicking among friends and family for my remaining favourites, but I’m obviously not good at it because my saints still keep getting turfed. Hampered somewhat by some of the conscriptees voting their own consciences once they get here instead of my imperious wishes, dagnabit! : )

    S’all good.

    • Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
      March 26, 2013 - 9:56 pm | Permalink

      I think MT. 20 has two lessons. #1: The early hires got More Time in The Garden (yes, it was a vineyard, but for the purpose of analogy…). And, #2: “Come on in. There’s room in the beautiful garden—even at sunset .”
      Thank you for your comments!

  61. March 26, 2013 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

    This was the hardest vote yet! Our family is split between the two. But, I have to say, both of these essays were amazing. I teared up reading both aloud at dinner to my kids. So inspiring. Thanks.

  62. Sarah Lawton's Gravatar Sarah Lawton
    March 26, 2013 - 8:09 pm | Permalink

    For those who want a little more about / with Romero (no matter how you voted today!) —

    Here is a reflection on his last cathedral sermon, by my friend Scott Wright, Roman Catholic layperson and very longtime El Salvador activist for peace and justice:

    And a really good book about him, because it is told in mosaic form by those who knew him, people from all walks of life:

  63. Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
    March 26, 2013 - 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Go for Luke, whose depiction of Christ as reaching out to the least, the last, the lost undoubtedly inspired Oscar, or Oscar, who followed the example?
    Since he was a bit behind, voted for Oscar.

  64. John Lawrence's Gravatar John Lawrence
    March 26, 2013 - 9:47 pm | Permalink

    We don’t know if Luke was a real person. We know that Oscar Romero most certainly was. The Lucan trandition is wonderful, formative, and faith-giving. Oscar Romero was a living, dying, and risen example in the flesh of the Word that the Gospel writer proclaimed.
    As an observation, the vote total seems remarkably low for a penultimate round. Could this have something to do with the ethereal but influential nature of Luke?

  65. Ginny Rodriguez's Gravatar Ginny Rodriguez
    March 26, 2013 - 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Voting for Luke: doctor, reporter, evangelist.

  66. Beth Ann's Gravatar Beth Ann
    March 26, 2013 - 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I may have to go to bed without voting.
    I have changed my mind about twenty times today.

    • Katie's Gravatar Katie
      March 27, 2013 - 1:29 am | Permalink

      Vote for the underdog! That’s always an easy strategy.

Comments are closed.