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©2017 BY DAVID VAN BRAKLE.

Missio Dei

October 16, 2017

 

Part of my weekly spiritual practices includes a prayer and theme for the week. This week I am focusing on Missio Dei with a prayer from Óscar Romero. Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while offering Mass.

 

I lift up Romero's words this week as a reminder that the work of ministry we are called to is not in vain and goes beyond ourselves:

 

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom 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 program 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 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 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.

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