An Anniversary and a Prayer

sprouting plantOn Sunday, October 20, Unbound celebrated it’s 2nd birthday. We’ve come a long way in these last two years and want to thank all of you who have contributed to the work of Unbound as authors, subscribers, readers, and relentless promoters of the social witness and ministry that we seek to lift up. As we pause and give thanks both to God and to the great cloud of witnesses surrounding Unbound, we find ourselves continuing to look forward to the future of our mission and ministry. “The Prayer of Oscar Romero” seems appropriate for the occasion…

“The Prayer of Oscar Romero”

by Bishop Ken Untener*

It helps, now and then, to step back and take the 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.

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.

photo of a candle
May this guide our ministry at Unbound, now and always. Amen.


*This prayer was composed by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw for a homily by Cardinal John Dearden in November 1979 for a celebration of departed priests. Five months later, in March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was martyred while celebrating the mass. As a reflection on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Romero, Bishop Untener included in a reflection book a passage titled “The mystery of the Romero Prayer.” The mystery, he says, is that the words of the prayer are attributed to Oscar Romero, but they were never spoken by him. [Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops]
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