Clay on the Wheel

Readings for Thursday July 29, 2010

Memorial of Saint Martha

First Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 146
Gospel: John 11:19-27 or Luke 10:38-42

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Rise up, be off to the potter's house; there I will give you my message. I went down to the potter's house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. Then the word of the LORD came to me: 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. (Jer. 18:1-6)

In today's first reading, we see that the Lord sends Jeremiah off to admire the artistry of the potter on his wheel. When the clay was not working out as planned, the potter would begin to rework the clay into something else. The Lord said to Jeremiah, "Can I no do yo you, house of Israel, as this potter has done?" The Lord is telling Jeremiah, as badly as the clay has turned out, it still has value and can still have a purpose if it is willing to let the Lord rework it.

And so too it is like our lives no matter what we have done or no matter how much we have messed up, the Lord still wants to rework us for a purpose. The Lord sees value in all His children, even if we do not. He has plans for each of us, but sometimes we go against His will and follow our own instead. That is when, like the potter, the Lord just keeps working with us and tries to guide us into what He has planned for us. It is funny that so many people resist the Lord, and what they are really resisting is the only thing that will bring them true peace and joy in their lives.

Today, we celebrate the memorial of Saint Martha, someone who allowed themselves to be reworked by the Lord. One of Martha's early encounters with Christ, she complained that her sister would not help with the labor. Jesus corrected her letting her know that Mary had chosen the better thing which is to be with the Lord. We see in the reading about Martha from the gospel of John, how far Martha had come. When with her guests, and upon hearing that Jesus was coming, she dropped everything and came to Him. Martha is a great example of a Saint who allowed God to reword them on the wheel.

So, what is it in your life that holds you back from God? What is the thing that needs reworked in you? I pray brothers and sisters that we can all be given the courage and strength to allow God to rework each of us and to bring us closer to holiness and closer to Him.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for the many blessing and gifts in our lives. Lord, help us to be good stewards of all that you have entrusted to us, and help us never to take any gift for granted. Lord, humble and soften our hearts, so that we might be workable as the clay is on the potters wheel. Help us to be open to your will, increase our faith so that we might follow you no matter where it is that you lead. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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