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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Smell of Play-Doh; A Message From Fr. Reed

I have a personal secret to share with you: I love Play-Do, I always have. It comes in a number of different colors, it is non-toxic, it can be molded and shaped, you can make different colors by mixing and if you leave it out of the container or fail to put the cover on tight it hardens into whatever shape you left it. Most of all, I love it because it smells good. In fact, I have been known to open up a container in a toy store only to catch a whiff. Now, I say: “I love Play-Do”, but you really can’t love Play-Do! But we can love one another, and we can certainly learn to love God.

Without a doubt, God loves you and me. God made us…He formed you from the elements, the “the clay” of this world. By the greatest wonder, the most marvelous miracle ever, from a lot of water and a bunch of chemicals the Creator formed you physically and, at the same time, breathed into you a living, human spirit – an eternal soul.

You and I, we are kind of like Play-Do – we are beautiful to God…maybe we even smell good to God?

No matter who you are and how old you have become, you and I are still being formed. As Isaiah the prophet teaches us: “We are the clay and God is the potter. We are all the work of God’s hands.”

Now we have begun again the cycle of the Church’s year - Advent and Christmas. Lent and Holy Week and Easter, the many feasts of Mary and the Saints. Through all of these days and weeks and months, God is inviting us to be molded and refashioned according the image of His Son. God is trying to make something beautiful of us, to make us like children, His Children.

How is God doing this? Certainly the Church and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist have a powerful and mysterious influence upon us. Our families: God works through our families (and the holidays serve to remind us all of where we came from). Our children, certainly by their presence and their innate goodness, God continues to shape us. God can even use us as instruments to mold and reshape our friends and even total strangers. And the Word of God cuts through us like a knife.

As we light each successive candle on the Advent wreath, remember: there is still some time! There is still time, not just to go shopping for gifts. There is still time for God to mold us. There is still some time before Jesus returns in glory, to judge us.

So, do not let yourself dry out and harden up like Play-Do, left in its container with out a cap. Leave yourselves open and humble for God’s many surprises. It might even be painful at times, but give yourself the chance to be reshaped into (as Mother Teresa once said) “something beautiful for God.”

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