Making Things New Again


Making Things New Again

“So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.” Jeremiah 18: 3-4

Over the years I have used the passage from Jeremiah 18 as a reading for reconciliation celebrations. These words easily remind us of the compassion of our God as we ask for and celebrate forgiveness. The imagery is powerful and hopeful, calling us to a deeper trust in God’s care for us in our times of weakness.

As I reflected on our recent OMI Lacombe Canada Convocation, these words came to mind again, this time in an even broader sense. At the beginning of our Convocation, we reflected on our past and were invited to acknowledge and own our corporate sin. Our facilitators reminded us that we will be bound by that corporate sin unless we are able to acknowledge, own it and work toward reconciliation and healing. What we do as individuals in reconciliation we were invited to do as a province. The events of the past year around the news of unmarked graves and the effects of the residential school system left us no choice but to face the intertwining of our history with that of the residential schools.

The next step was to look for signs of hope for the future. Given our aging and diminishment, one would think that there would be very few signs of hope going forward. However, trusting in God’s love for us, in the charism given to St. Eugene and handed on to us and the whole Church and believing that we still have gifts to offer our world, we were able to recognize signs of hope for our future. It is abundantly clear that our future will be quite different from the past. We will move forward in humility, seeking to read the signs of the times and reaching out to those who are truly on the margins of our society and church. We are not the powerhouse we once were as a congregation in Canada, but we still have much to offer and to share. Part of our task is to open ourselves to the transforming hand of God, “the potter”, and allow our hearts to be reshaped into vessels that can truly share the limitless compassion and love of God with others. Our contribution to the building of the kingdom may seem small, but God calls us to continue the mission. Like the potter in Jeremiah’s words, we too are called to reshape our world, to build something new. This call requires hearts that are open to conversion, to the work of the Spirit and that are willing to respond generously wherever we are being called today and into the future.

By Richard Beaudette, OMI