Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest
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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.”
Today’s Gospel passage reminds us of our Lord’s incredible patience. Nothing is cast away, nothing is thrown away, until the very end. Everything is collected. Why?
Recreating ourselves. “Who am I?” is a good question. “Who am I today” is a better question. It allows for a more precise (and honest) response.
We are constantly recreating ourselves. I’m not the same person I was five years ago. I’m not even the same person I was a year ago! These changes are not the result of any unconscious cell changes or genetic mutations but rather a conscious effort to be a better man, a better Christian and a better priest. In many aspects I have failed, but in some aspects I have succeeded in my goals.
Regardless, the blueprint - the master plan – of who I am rests firmly in the hands of the Lord. He is the master Potter.
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…Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do to you…as this potter has done?
Patience. The Lord is patient. I know He is patient for a couple of reasons: firstly, because He has shown great patience with me for forty-nine years (today is my birthday – I had to throw that in here); secondly, because He has shown great patient with great sinners, and just like the potter in today’s first reading, he has taken the time to re-sculpture them into great saints. Today’s great saint, Ignatius of Loyola, is a testament to God’s patience and grace.
Mercy. “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.” This saying may be true for the opera, but it isn’t true for the Lord. It’s never over for Him until our final breath. And then…I am sure the Lord is merciful.
Yesterday I went to visit a beautiful family of three boys and one girl. As I was heading out, the father of the household noticed I had a flat tire. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A few days ago I was warned by a mechanic that my tires needed to be replaced in the near future. I thought to myself, “The night before my birthday and I get a flat tire!” Before I could sulk, the dad ordered his three boys to replace my tire and to get the job done in less than ten minutes. He had just taught them how to change a flat tire!!!
Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live (cf. Ps 146: 1b-2).
Sharknado. Today’s parable reminds me of how our lives can be instantaneously turned upside down. All kinds of fish are caught in the Lord’s net: the good, the bad and the ugly. Is this not what happens to us when our world suddenly collapses before our very eyes? Is this not what happens to us when we are finally caught red handed? And still, the Lord shows his mercy and justice by not throwing away anything until He has to.
“Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous.”
“Can I not do to you…as this potter has done? Instead, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.” (cf. Jer. 18:6)
This morning, I read a wonderful meditation from a young lady that is allowing the Lord to recreate (re-sculpture) her. She is coming out beautifully! (0)