Jars of clay

I remember the first time I went into a hospital room, to see someone I didn’t know.

Before I was ordained, the parish I was at had someone who went around and visited people in the hospital. She was going on vacation for a few weeks, and they needed someone to fill in. The perfect thing for a deacon in training to do.

I had been the parish for two weeks. I barely knew anyone. For the people in the hospitals, all I had were room numbers and names.

I had no idea what I was supposed to say or do. Trusting God, I went anyway.

I really don’t know what we talked about. I couldn’t tell you what I said in what (to me) seemed like the world’s lamest, most rambling prayer.

Next Sunday, his wife caught me after Mass. I started to apologize, but she never heard a word. She was too busy telling me how much my visit meant to her husband.

The same visit that seemed so pathetic to me.

Which is the point that St. Paul is making when he says “we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.”

We’re the earthen vessels.

It’s not about us. How wonderful we are. Or aren’t.

Or what we can or can’t do.

It’s about God. And the good that God can do through us.

If we’ll just say yes.

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