A Step Along the Way

"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 small part of the 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 brings to fruition the mission of the Church in its fullness.

No set of goals and objectives includes all that is, or could be.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing they hold the promise of the future.

We lay foundations that will need development.

We provide yeast that produces beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in 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 what becomes of our work in the vineyard, but that is the Providence of the Master Builder.

We are ministers of the Lord, not the Messiah.

We are prophets of a future not our own."

Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, "The Mystery of the Romero Prayer"

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We must live, then, as a constant paradox to ourselves and the rest of mankind. Ours is the pain of pitching our tent and folding it up again, of befriending strangers and bidding them goodbye, of loving the world but never truly being satisfied with it, of pouring our heart and soul and faith into work others have begun and still others will finish. If we would not be torn in two by the tensions of this truth, we must learn to live provisionally - to measure the road of faith well. We must find strength for journey in those times when we gather and share in the bread of life and the cup of salvation. Joy must be discovered in the going, as we never really arrive, not even in a lifetime. 

Amen.

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