by Fr. Tommy Lane
“How will I get through the rigors of seminary?” may be a question on the minds of some at this time. “How can I become a priest?” In the first reading Gideon asked, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel? My family is the meanest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.” (Judg 6:15) The disciples asked Jesus in our Gospel today, “Who then can be saved?” God answered Gideon, “I shall be with you.” (Judg 6:16). To the disciples’ question about who can be saved Jesus replied, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) Likewise for us in seminary, God is with us and what is impossible for humans is not impossible for God, for all things are possible for God. Who would think that a lump of clay could become a beautiful teacup?
There was a couple who went to shop in a beautiful
antique store. Seeing an exceptional tea-cup, they asked “May we see that?” As
the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea-cup spoke, “I have not always been
a tea-cup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took
me and rolled me, pounded and patted me and I yelled out, “Don’t do that. Let me
alone,” but he only smiled, and gently said; “Not yet!” Then, Wham! I was placed
on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m
getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick!’
But the master only nodded and said, quietly, ‘Not yet.’ He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. “Help! Get me out of here!” “When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. ‘Oh, please; Stop it!’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’ Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. It was twice as hot and I thought I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I was convinced I would never make it. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and wondered ‘What’s he going to do to me next?’ An hour later he handed me a mirror and said ‘Look at yourself, you’re beautiful.’
God knows what He is doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mould us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds to give us the opportunity to become the disciples he wants us to be.
(Unfortunately I do not know the source of this story which I have slightly edited. If you know please email me so that I can acknowledge. Thanks.)
Today we celebrate the Memorial of Pope Pius X. Like those who asked questions in our Scripture readings today displaying doubt, it is said that when nominated Pope in 1903, he declined saying he was unworthy. But he agreed to accept. While he did not want to become Pope he achieved many things for the kingdom during his Pontificate. He combated Modernism, introduced reforms in liturgy and law and produced a Catechism for Children. It is reported that Pope Pius X was considering lowering the age for children to receive Holy Communion from twelve to seven and when he heard of Little Nellie of Holy God in County Cork, Ireland, a very sick and holy child, who received Holy Communion at the age of four with the permission of her bishop, Pope Pius said she was the sign he was waiting for. So in August 1910 Pope Pius X published his encyclical Quam Singulari encouraging early and frequent Holy Communion of children. Isn’t it wonderful to know that a little girl in County Cork in Ireland influenced Pope Pius X in his decision although the bishop of Cork waited until after the decree to officially inform the Pope in writing!
Gideon and the disciples asked questions displaying doubt. God answered Gideon, “I shall be with you.” (Judg 6:16) and Jesus said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matt 19:26) Likewise for us in seminary, God is with us and what is impossible for humans is not impossible for God, all things are possible for God. Who would think that a lump of clay could become a beautiful teacup? God knows what He is doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mould us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds to give us the opportunity to become the disciples he wants us to be.
Copyright © Fr. Tommy Lane 2013