Memory of the Church

Share On

Remembrance of Nunzia, a mentally disabled woman who died in Naples in 1991; with her we remember all the mentally disabled people who have fallen asleep in the Lord.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 18,1-6

The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh as follows, 'Get up and make your way down to the potter's house, and there I shall tell you what I have to say.' So I went down to the potter's house; and there he was, working at the wheel. But the vessel he was making came out wrong, as may happen with clay when a potter is at work. So he began again and shaped it into another vessel, as he thought fit. Then the word of Yahweh came to me as follows, 'House of Israel, can I not do to you what this potter does? Yahweh demands. Yes, like clay in the potter's hand, so you are in mine, House of Israel.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand." These words recall humanity's creation. The Lord shaped the first human being out of clay and breathed the spirit of life into him. We cannot forget that the perpetual condition of every man and every woman is marked by the fact that they were made out of dust, that is we are kneaded with weakness, finitude and fragility. But God does not despise the dust that is humanity. On the contrary, he values it. He is like a potter who continues to shape each of us, giving us his spirit of life so that we grow "in his image, according to his likeness." The Lord does not disdain our fragility. He never stops bending down over us and continues to work in us so that we continue to grow as his children, his witnesses. The apostle Paul was well aware of it when he said that truly we are like "vessels of clay," which nonetheless carry a powerful treasure to keep and communicate. Indeed, the Lord continues to pour the breath of his Holy Spirit, into our hearts through his Word. Jeremiah reminds us of the great responsibility we have to choose to allow the Lord to mould us so that we can fulfil the mission he entrusted to us. Those who let the Lord shape their lives and not the stubbornness of their hearts will be blessed. As if challenging them to find love, the Lord asks his people, "Ask among the nations: Who has heard the like of this? ... But my people have forgotten me... they have stumbled in their ways, in the ancient roads." We can turn back in life if we do not listen to the Lord. We can worsen in attitudes and choices. This is what happens when we forget the Word of God in order to follow our own thoughts. We understand the prophet's prayer, who asks for God's help with the struggles of his vocation. It is the Lord who gives us the strength to continue to communicate the beauty of his love.