Honduras martyrs, 1975

On June 25, 1975, Fr. Jerome Casimir Michael Cypher, O.F.M. Conv., U.S. missionary, and Fr. Ivan Betancur, S.J., Colombian missionary, and six others, martyrs of Los Horcones, were killed in Juticalpa, Department of Olancho, Honduras. Father Ivan was involved with the poor in the area and many of the campesinos involved were involved in organizations. Father Michael Cypher was probably killed because he happened to be a priest who just happened to be in Juticalpa at the time. The deaths unleashed a series of actions against the church in the department of Olancho. (Interestingly, the US bishop, a Franciscan who had a price of $10,000 on his head, happened to be out of the country or he might have been a  victim of the attacks.)

A few years ago I read this meditation of Father Michael Cypher:

 “What is important is not that we wait for a revelation in some book or in some saying, but take the revelation we have in our everyday life. And the revelation in our everyday life is to use the talents God gave us. Lazarus had no ‘talents’ — but what he was, he was. And that was all.

“There is beauty in life if we only worry about living completely and just being truly what God meant us to be. We miss it when we worry about not being really great, about accomplishing things we cannot accomplish. When we want God to make us greater than we are, we become smaller, because we neglect what we have and what we are already.

“Remember this Gospel. It is a sort of warning: Don’t look too far into the future. When you look into eternity, don’t look on forever; you will stumble over your own life. Look for eternity in those who are near you right now. For eternity begins today; it begins this moment. It begins right NOW!”

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