All Saints message from Bishop Suda Davadhar

November 1, 2012
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As we open our calendars to November, it indicates that we are observing “All Saints Day.” This is celebrated in most of our churches.
Though there are many definitions of a “saint,” one of the definitions that I appreciate and celebrate is, “A saint is an agent of change.”  Though there are countless numbers of people to whom we give credit in our personal faith journeys, one on my list is Archbishop Oscar Romero.  Archbishop Romero was a prophetic voice of the voiceless people who suffered injustice in El Salvador.  He was assassinated for his Christian witness as he was celebrating the mass. As we think about his ministry and his Christian witness, may we pause over a prayer composed by Bishop Ken Untener, who included it in a reflection titled “The Mystery of the Romero Prayer.”
A Future Not Our Own (also known as ‘The Long View’)
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 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 programme 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.”
Though one could develop several sermons out of this prayer/poem, one of the messages I get in the context of All Saints Day/Sunday is that we who have tried to bring about change in our personal and Christian lives might not have seen the end results of our ministry and mission, but we have been blessed with an “opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.”
As I have reflected on and processed what I have heard in my conversations and dialogues with some of you in my district visits and in other places, the life and witness of Archbishop Romero challenges all of us by saying, “We are prophets of a future not our own.” The saints in our lives and Christian journeys stimulate us to do our part as baptized Christians at every moment of our lives, not worrying about the results.  Yes, it is a human tendency to say at certain moments, “Why should I work hard if someone else is going to reap the results of my hard work and sacrifices?”  However, the saints we know challenge us to move beyond that stage and ask a deeper question, “Being the recipient of God’s grace in my own life, how can I impart it upon others through my Christian witness?”
As we thank God for blessing us with countless numbers of saints along the way in our personal and faith journeys, may we also be in prayer and ask, “How can I be a saint – an agent of change – in my own context?”
Kindly remember that “God loves you all and so do the Devadhars!”
In Christ’s Love,
Bishop Suda Devadhar


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