17th Week in the Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jer 18:1-6
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.
Gospel: Mt 13:47-53
Jesus said to the disciples: “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. 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.” “Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
TOTAL SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL: God speaks to the Prophet Jeremiah through the imagery of a potter and clay. The Potter decides the outcome and the clay has no role to play except to be part of the process of making the pot. Flexibility and availability and complete surrender to God’s plan in ones’ life is required for a happy and contented life. “What we are is God’s gift to us and what we become is our gift to God” (Eleanor Powell). When we make the best use of our skills and talents it is the best way to show our gratitude and appreciation to God. The way we share our own life in order to give life and light to others bring joy to us. We then become part of the Kingdom of God and make it a reality here on earth.
Prayer: Lord, let me share my life in order to give life to others.
MENDING OUR WAYS: The Kingdom of God, like a large net that encompasses the whole sea spreads all over, catching the small and big; the good and the bad though in the end, only the good will be retained. We cannot, however, live as we like thinking that the immensely merciful Father will condone all our wickedness. Rather God is patient and gives us time for conversion. Unlike the useless fish in the net which cannot change its nature, we are given the possibility of mending our ways and turn to God. God, the potter, wants to form us into wonderful pots. We need to respond to the shaping. Whenever we resist, God ‘breaks’ us to bring us to senses and gives us further opportunities to return to him. Do we give a free hand to God in our lives?