The Message Of The Potter
by Rev. Robert J. Hermley

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The prophet Jeremiah was told by God, "Go down to the potter; 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." (Jeremiah 18:1-6)

In this wonderful story of the Potter, God the Father sends us a beautiful message of His love.  He is here speaking to Israel, of course, but His message to them is the same message He sends to the world today . . . if you repent, I will forgive your sins and make you into a vessel of My peace and joy . . . I will use you as a vessel to bring that gift of peace and joy to others.

When you and I were born, Almighty God already had great plans for each and every one of us.  From our mother's womb, He fashioned each of us into a very special person.  "The Lord called me from birth, from my mother's womb He gave me my name." (Isaiah 49:1)  Yet, as we continued to be molded into His plan, we may have stumbled.  We messed up the vessel from which the potter was molding our life.  We did not form ourselves as the Master Potter had planned.  At that moment, He could have tossed us aside as junk, but like the potter in His example to Jeremiah, He fashioned the vessel of our lives into something useful even though it was flawed and different from what He originally intended to make us.  He certainly could have discarded us as one throws out a broken or cracked vase, but His love as our heavenly Father is so great that He accepts our flawed, broken and disfigured life and refashions, repairs and reshapes us into worthy receptacles.

His Divine son, Jesus, was later to tell us a story similar to the potter in His parable of the Prodigal Son.  The Prodigal son wandered far from the expectations of the father, but the father, instead of writing off the son as lost and unusable, refashioned him and remade him into an object of worth.

How fortunate we are that we have a heavenly Father whose love for us knows no bounds.  How grateful we should be that His son, Jesus Christ also cared enough to ransom us from our sins by His death on the Cross.  Let us always keep a crucifix in a public place in our homes to remind us how much our sins cost Christ.  This will help us overcome the pagan idea, "My body is my own.  I will do with it as I please."  It was St. who reminded us, "Your body is not your own; you were purchased at a great price." (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Let us dedicate our lives to Christ, remembering the compassion He has shown us in Confession so many times when we wandered far from home.  Part of our lives of reparation can perhaps include our mercy to those who come to us in need.  Let us, in turn, show to others just a shadow of the mercy Christ has shown toward us.  Has He not promised, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"? (Mt. 5:7)