"Prophets of a Future Not Our Own" – A Prayer in the Spirit of St. Oscar Romero

In honor of today’s 40th anniversary of the murder/martyrdom of St. Oscar Romero, I share this prayer with you. It’s not by St. Oscar, but was written in his spirit and as a tribute to his vision of social justice.

We are early in this pandemic crisis, but already thinkers are speculating how our nation and planet will be changed by this extraordinary time.

My foundational hope is that we will become more committed to bringing about a way of living which we’ve mostly lost – The Common Good.

This prayer reminds us that the future we pray for and work for is one that we will likely not live to see in it’s fullness. And yet, we pray and work and build – if not for us, then for the unborn ones yet to come.

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 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 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 seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far 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 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

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