Formed and Reformed: Four Years

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By Matt Janeczko, OFM Cap.

Setting up the Roman Missal this morning for the Memorial of Saint Ignatius, I realized that the 31st of July bore special meaning in my life.  Since it was only 6:18 am and there was only a single cup of coffee to my name, it took me a few second to find the significance.

On July 31, 2010, just four years earlier, in the same church, I professed vows as a Capuchin Franciscan.  At the same, the profession was temporary in nature: for a year.  Two renewals followed, and then in May of 2013, final vows.

I mentioned this during my homily, quipping: “I can’t believe it’s already been four years.  And, I can’t believe it’s *only* been four years.”

Today’s reading from the Prophet Jeremiah sums up something vital about our own spiritual lives, regardless of where we find ourselves.  We hear about the Lord’s command that Jeremiah go to the shed of the potter to see the work being performed:

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,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

And, if this isn’t a good analogy for religious life (and marriage, and discernment, and Christianity), then I don’t know what is: we are all in the hands of the ultimate potter, being formed and reformed, chiseled by grace into what God wants us to be right at the moment.

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