Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 30
May Each of Us Pray for the Wisdom and the Humility to Let Go, to Surrender Our Will So that God’s Will May Be Fulfilled through Us, Allowing God to Become for Each of Us the Divine Potter.
“Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…” – words which we find in our First Reading today, words which remind us of how truly dependent we are upon the providential Love of God.
Over the past several days, we have been listening to parables, stories to illustrate a spiritual truth about Heaven, an eternal destination where each of us, I am sure, desires to live – in communion with our Lord and all the angels and saints, and all our loved ones who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, who have left this life in the friendship of Almighty God.
And yet, we also know, only too well, that our understanding of the wonder which is Heaven is a result of a lifetime process of formation and faith development. It is the result of a lifetime of experiences on this pilgrimage of sorts, as the old adage states, “from the womb to the tomb”.
I am sure that each of us can look back on the formative years of our youth. It was a time in our lives when we were taught right from wrong; it was a time when we began to grow in the understanding of our religious beliefs, taught to us by both our parents, grandparents and those of our religious community – who helped us to better understand this new faith which seemed to fill our minds and our hearts with a wondrous awe!
It was a time when we learned our “ABC’s”; we were taught history, math, science, and all the other subjects which would prepare us for our eventual exodus from the safety and security of our home environment out into the real world, where we would begin to apply all that we learned to the new lives we would begin to live.
And in the process of growing and maturing, we would, at times, come across some “bumps in the road”, so to speak – maybe even “gaping potholes” which would seem to swallow us alive! And we would then find ourselves learning to “pick ourselves up” and start over again.
And our experiences were much like that of the early Israelites. At first, they were infants, as unmolded clay in the hands of their Creator. But as they began to grow, God guided them and taught them His ways. And as they grew in their traditions and in their understanding of God’s Laws, they felt safe and protected.
But just like us, there came a time when, in the process of their growing and maturing, they decided to venture out on their own, away from the safety and security of God’s protective Love. And just like us, they, too, fell into their gaping potholes, which, as we have been reading in Sacred Scripture, took them far away from God’s loving care.
But just as we, who are parents, reach out to our children with love after they have made mistakes and fallen, so, too, does our Lord, in His providential, Fatherly Love, reach out to His children and help guide them back onto a righteous path – a path which would bring them back into communion with His Love.
God tells us in today’s First Reading, “Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done…? Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.”
As I have written many times before, it is not God’s desire that He lose any of His children whom He loves with an indescribable Love. And we are each invited to remember the parable of the lost sheep.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells us, “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine…and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’”
And just as we read in today’s Responsorial Psalm, “Blessed [is] he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD, his God” – so, too, are we completely dependent on God’s providential Love for us, feeling safe and secure in God’s loving embrace, even amidst the chaos we see in today’s world, even amidst the many trials and misfortunes we find ourselves experiencing from time to time in our daily lives!
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus portrays His Father as a God who loves beyond measure, who shows mercy and forgiveness beyond human understanding to all who open their hearts to His Divine Mercy. But Jesus reminds us today that, for those who refuse His Love, for those who constantly refuse to be molded as clay in the hands of the Divine Potter, our God is also a God of Divine Justice!
In Jesus’ own words, we read today, “The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” And then He asks not only His disciples, but he also asks each and every one of us, “Do you understand all these things?”
The choice – of how we respond to God’s tremendous offers of grace, compassion and forgiveness, charity and love for others, and the wisdom found in humility before God – is ours. It becomes a choice which we freely make.
Are we willing to let go and allow God to form us in His image? Are we willing to become that piece of clay with which God desires to mold us, so that we may become pleasing in His sight?
Unlike the early Israelites, Jesus has given to us the example of what it means to be able to let go of our own ego, our own pride, our own selfishness. He gave us this example through His act of total surrender and humility, to the point of accepting His own suffering and death upon His Cross.
When we let go of all that does not please God, then God Himself becomes the Divine Potter forming and molding us into His children who become Christ-like in our own lives, emulating Jesus in His compassion, mercy, love and understanding – becoming His instruments here on Earth reaching out to each of our brothers and sisters, as Christ Jesus Himself would.
May each of us pray for the wisdom and the humility to let go, to surrender our will so that God’s will may be fulfilled through each and every one of us, remembering His words today:
“Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done, says the LORD. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 18:6)
- “Blessed the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD, his God…who keeps faith forever.” (Psalm 146:5, 6b)
- “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine…and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:4-6)
- “LORD, you are our father; we are the clay and you our potter: we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:7)
- “The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he destroys.” (Psalm 145:20)
- “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.” (Matthew 13:47-48)
- “Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” (Matthew 13:49-50)
- “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)
- “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
- “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)
- “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
- “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
- “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
- “Do you understand all these things?” (Matthew 13:51a)
Prayer for the Day
“Heavenly and Eternal Father
help me to live my life as it pleases Your Divine will.
Assist me to recognize You in all whom I meet,
and to live the virtues which our holy faith espouses.
“But many are the seductions and lies which assault me;
many are the temptations which weaken my resolve;
for the prince of this world disguises himself as an angel of light,
entrapping many who fall victim to his wiles and deceptions.
“It is Satan who spreads seeds of disruption,
stealing souls who rightfully belong to You.
Give me Your Holy Spirit to enlighten and strengthen me,
keeping me safe from all that would destroy my soul.
“It is You, Almighty God, whom I desire in life and for eternity;Anonymous
it is Your Love with which I wish to be forever embraced.
I pray, save me from the snares of the evil one,
and I shall be found praising the wonders of Your Glory forever. Amen.”