TAKE A LONG VIEW

I stumbled across the reflection on this page and found great inspiration it.  It was written by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw in memory of Oscar Romero (1917–1980) for his Beatification two years ago.

Oscar Romero was born to a very poor El Salvadoran family in 1917, received only a third grade education, but was later accepted into a seminary.   He returned to his home country, serving first as a parish priest and eventually the Archbishop of San Salvador.

Archbishop Romero turned the facilities at the cathedral into a space for people to come for relief, food and medical assistance.  He also began hearing the stories of countless Salvadorans who told him how their family members were tortured and killed, or just disappeared.  He quickly began to speak out on behalf of the poor and powerless.  His weekly sermons, broadcast throughout El Salvador by radio, cited human rights violations by the government.  His life was threatened on several occasions, to which he responded: “I have frequently been threatened with death. I must say that, as a Christian, I do not believe in death, but in the resurrection. If they kill me, I shall rise again in the Salvadoran people.”

On March 24, 1980, as he was celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Carmelite Sisters’ hospital for cancer patients, where he lived, he was shot to death.  Pope Francis quoted him: “We must all be willing to die for our faith even if the Lord does not grant us this honor.”

At this time, I challenge you to read the reflection.  I think the line that speaks to me the most is: “We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this.  This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.”    I have to remind myself of this on a regular basis. I can give much greater glory to God by offering a few things done really well instead of being known as the person who does everything.    Read the reflection a second time, find the passage that speaks to take, and take it to prayer, asking God for guidance and direction.

 

A STEP ALONG THE WAY

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

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,

it is beyond our vision.

 

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction

of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is another 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 the seeds already planted

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects

far beyond our capabilities.

 

We cannot do everything,

and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this.

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.

 

 

Written by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw in memory of Oscar Romero (1917–1980)