In the first reading of today’s Mass, God tells the prophet Jeremiah to go down to the potter’s house and watch him working at his wheel. Jeremiah observes that the potter shapes and fashions the clay according to his own wishes, adding a bit here, thinning out a bit there, pinching, squeezing, until the product was what he wanted. And of course, the Lord pointed out to Jeremiah that he treated his people like the potter treated the clay, molding, shaping, designing, until he obtained the desired results. Let’s not forget that the notion of potter and clay is used in the creation stories. God, like a potter, gathers some dirt (actually, clay) which he has created, shapes it into the form of a human being just as a potter might do, and then breathes into its mouth and nostrils, whereupon it comes to life in the image and likeness of God.
Think of yourself in these terms. You are nothing but a blob of clay to begin with. But God has a plan for you; just as the producers of Beleek in Ireland, Limoges in France, Lladro in Spain come up with masterpieces of porcelain and china and pottery, so does our Divine Potter plan to perfect us into something of immense value and beauty—if we will allow Him to do so. Unlike a blob of inert clay, we have intelligence and a free will. We can say NO to God and impede his plan. But if we cooperate and remain docile and malleable in his hands, he will gently, deftly, lovingly caress us, shape us, mold us, into what he wants us to be. He does this by the events of our daily lives, which go round and round, day by day, just as the potter’s wheel makes its endless revolutions with the wet clay taking the form of something beautiful according to the mind and will of the potter.
What should our attitude be as we see ourselves as clay in the hands of the divine artisan? Our Blessed Mother said it perfectly to the archangel at the moment of the annunciation: Be it done to me according to your word. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.