Perspective on Advent IV

My bishop has this posted on his blog. It is attributed to Archbishop (and martyr) Oscar Romero.

It seems like something we all need to hear on this 4th Sunday of Advent.

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 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.
That 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 cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something and do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way
and 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.


~ by Sophia on December 18, 2005.

3 Responses to “Perspective on Advent IV”

  1. ANd the people all said AMEN!THanks for this.

  2. Oh, I LOVE those words and have them above my desk in the Curate’s house.Clearly, your bishop is a person of discernment 🙂

  3. In Judaism we have a saying from the Mishnah that it is not incumbent upon you to finish the work, but neither may you desist from it. Means the same thing – there is much work to be done and every little bit helps. Even though the task is so big that you cannot possibly finish it, you still have to do your part. Thank you for sharing this – I may paraphrase it next September 🙂

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