9 May – A parishioner, St Laurence

The Romero Prayer

In a time of escalating conflicts, we can oscillate between opposing sides, as with Gaza or Ukraine, and feel a sense of hopelessness, say, about the situation in Sudan and Myanmar. How can I bring peace to the world? What an overwhelming task. However, we all have a sphere of influence in our family, school, workplace or community and can engage in a way that upholds the dignity of each person made in the image of God… to see the face of Christ in others.

The late Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, US, wrote what is now known as The Romero Prayer which can help us understand that even the tiniest of ripples might one day become the biggest waves:

‘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 programme 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 effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realising 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 that is not our own.