Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quote of the Week

Though this passage is phrased in Christocentric terms, I encourage even non-theists to contemplate the central message, which directly addresses the overall impact of the activism we espouse and the roots of the change we seek. This is not a means to admit defeat, but rather it is a way to acknowledge a realistic perspective and challenge our assumptions in the process.

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.


---Attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero, but written by Bishop Ken Untener


Punch said...

"an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest."

Implicit in this statement is we are beings put here for god to play with, through, around. It is better served to understand we are god and god's work really is our own. Until we take responsibility for what we do we must remain in the mud.

Comrade Kevin said...

Agreed, though I have to say that I don't interpret grace to mean God's inherent control over humanity. In this context, I take it to mean that if our aim is noble and godly then god himself/herself will accomplish great things for our act of unselfish concern for someone other than us.

Gail said...

Hi Kevin-

In my life's work and in how I live my life I have always believed myself to be His servant/soldier. And some times that simply meant for me to be broken and poured out so that others could have hope - my truer understanding of Eucharistic.

Excellent post.

Peace and love