A Future Not Our Own

A Future Not Our Own

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom [of God] is not only beyond our efforts,
it is 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 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 programme accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about:
We plant 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 effects beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realising 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 God'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.

Oscar Romero

33 years ago this week, on the 24th March 1980Archbishop Oscar Romero was gunned down by a government-backed death squad, while he was saying Mass in San Salvador. As Simon Barrow, director of the think-tank Ekklesia, writes, 'Romero was a remarkable and brave champion of the poor. But his background was not in the least radical. Far from it. It was exposure to the reality and human cost of injustice that converted him to an understanding of the Gospel that has peace and justice at his core. He has inspired millions of people - Catholic and otherwise, religious and non-religious, across the world.'