Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Jeremiah 18:1-6, Psalm 146:1-6, Matthew 13:47-53

“When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. So it will be at the close of the age.” (Matthew 13:48-49)

One of the four marks of the Catholic Church is holiness. When we say the church is holy, it is not to say that there are no sinners in the church, rather we mean that the church is set apart; different from any other human organization or group. The Church is God’s kingdom on earth.

As Jesus puts it, the kingdom of God is like a massive catch of fish; fish of all kinds, shapes and sizes. As soon as the fishermen drag it out of the water, they do sorting; they throw the bad ones away and package the good ones into vessels. Within the church also, there are all kinds of people; the good, the bad and the ugly.

The story is told of a woman who met the priest and said she was leaving the church. According to her, the church is full of people who gossip a lot, people who are not faithful to their marriage vows; sinners and so on. The priest then gave her a glass full of water and told her to walk through the aisle of the church without allowing a single drop fall from the glass. When she came back, the priest asked her if she noticed anyone gossiping, or doing anything wrong while she was walking with the glass. She said: “No.” Then he told her that whenever she comes to church, her only focus should be on Jesus Christ just as her focus was on that glass.

Dear friends, your membership in the church should not be determined by the presence or absence of evil-doers. Apart from being a gathering of “saints” the church is often a “field hospital” for the wounded. You are either a patient or a doctor in this hospital called the church. If you consider yourself healthy enough and knowledgeable, your duty is simply to heal others. Shine your light, that others may give glory to God. Show good example. Become a positive influencer for good.

In today’s first reading, God made Jeremiah go to the potter’s house to see how he was working. When the clay on which the potter was working became spoiled, the potter reworked it into another vessel. Like this clay, there are many who need reworking; many who desperately need inspiration and mentorship today.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, mould me until I become exactly what you intend. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you.