Wednesday, November 7, 2007


The Episcopal calendar places the observance of Willibrord on this day. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know much about him, until I read his biographical entry in Lesser Feasts and Fasts. It seems that he was an Archbishop and a missionary to Holland. He established a monastery as a launching pad, but generated no real results. He died in 739.

Willibrord’s real success rests in carving out a foothold for those that came after him might flourish. It must have been difficult to work and see no tangible results. It must have been frustrating to toil with no visible reward.

This is a fine example for us. We toil in the Church, and the payoff can seem very remote. It may seem that we labor in vain to no end. We journey, and we never quite reach a destination, but the work is not really about us. It is about the God, we seek to know and serve. God’s glory is the is the reward, and in this world, it can come quickly and slowly.

Perhaps, the most faithful service we offer is laboring in spite of the obstacles and in the presence of perceived failure. That may be the most evocative testimony to the one we seek and serve.

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