Photo: Just a dream, just an ordinary dream by Wade Brooks / CC BY-NC 2.0

Scripture:      2 Corinthians 4: 7-15

In the first reading Paul talks about a treasure that we hold in earthen vessels.  When I think of earthen vessels I think of small hollow clay lamps. The lamps are not beautiful, they are made of ordinary clay and could probably be easily replaced if broken.

But what is the treasure that Paul describes? We have to go back a few verses to learn that the treasure is the apostolic ministry which is, to bring Jesus to the world.  Paul tells us that the light of God has shone in our hearts so that we may bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God, to everyone.

We are the earthen vessels, we carry in our bodies like fire the death and the life of Jesus.  Through dying to ourselves we may more clearly show the treasure that we hold.  We bring Jesus / we are Jesus to the world.

Now, what is most important, the fire of love or the lamp? The fire is most important but if the fire has no place to exist how will the fire give light?  The fire needs the lamp to focus the power of the fire.  If the lamp says, “I’m going to stay on the shelf and protect myself from being broken,” the lamp is useless.  We are the lamps, the earthen vessels, poor, plain, vulnerable, and easily broken. We have been given the fire of God’s love to light the way for everyone we meet.

Let us pray that we will be faithful to the call we have received and be willing to give everything we are to the building up of the reign of God, a reign of healing, reconciliation and liberation.


Mary Keefe, OP