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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

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God takes us where we are, heals us, and sends us forth to change the World

God takes us where we are, heals us, and sends us forth to change the World

During this time of year, we give thanks for all God’s blessings. We have many reasons to be thankful. The most important reason is the love and mercy shown to each of us by the Almighty. We do not deserve God’s love but the Master takes us where we are with all our imperfections and sins and loves us into wholeness.

In 2012 the Marianites Congregational Chapter published the following poem entitled “The Chosen Vessel.”

The Master was searching for a vessel to use;

On the shelf there were many – which would He choose?

“Take me,” cried the gold one, “I’m shiny and bright,

I’m of great value and I do things just right;

My beauty and luster will outshine all the rest;

And for someone like you, Master, gold would be the best!”

The Master passed on with no word at all;

He looked at the silver urn, narrow and tall;

I’ll serve you, dear Master, I’ll pour out your wine;

And I’ll be at your table whenever you dine;

My lines are so graceful, my carvings so true,

And silver will always compliment you.”

Unheeding, the Master passed onto the brass.

He was wide-mouthed and shallow, and polished like glass.

“Here! Here!” cried the vessel, “I know I will do,

Place me at your table for all to view.”

“Look at me,” call the goblet of crystal so clear,

“My transparency shows my contents so dear.

Though fragile am I, I will serve you with pride,

And I’m sure I’ll be happy in your house to abide.”

The Master came next to a vessel of wood;

Polished and carved, it solidly stood.

“You may use me, dear Master,” the wooden bowl said,

“But I’d rather you used me for fruit, not for bread!”

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,

Empty and broken it helplessly lay.

No hope had the vessel, that the Master might choose,

To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.

“Ah! This is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find,

I will mend and use it and make it all mine.”

“I need not the vessel with pride of its self,

Nor the one who is narrow to sit on the shelf;

Nor the one who is big-mouthed and shallow and loud;

Nor the one who displays his contents so proud;

Not the one who thinks he can do all things just right;

But the plain earthy vessel filled with power and might.”

Then gently he lifted the vessel of clay;

Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day’

Spoke to it kindly, “There’s work you must do,

Just pour out to others as I pour into you.”

The following abbreviated prayer of thanksgiving is by Sr. Sallie Latkovich, CSJ:

May the light of our gratitude burn brightly in our hearts and in our world. Let each of us give thanks for the many gifts that are ours. Let us remember all those who have gone before us, those in the present time, and those to be born whom we will love.

God of all good gifts, from your holy heart has come a flood of gifts upon us. We are grateful not only for the gift of life itself, but for all the gifts of friendship, love, devotion, and forgiveness that we have shared. May we give our thanks by lives of service, by deeds of hospitality, by kindness to strangers and by concern for one another.

We thank you O God, for all the blessings of our lives today and all the days of our lives. Amen.