July 28, 2022 –
Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time
Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done?
In the Catholic press, much has been said recently about an idea called the “Benedict Option”. The idea is that Christians would opt to imitate the example of Saint Benedict of Norcia in the face of the disorder within civil society. Is the example of St. Benedict apropos to our day? To what extent is Western culture vulnerable to collapse?
Regardless, only an ostrich would be unable to notice the red flags that the high priests of secular culture wave in the faces of everyone. So ought Christians flee as much as possible from civil society, and form small communities of dedicated Christians? Or ought Christians engage the secular culture as much as possible in the public square, even until the dying day of that culture?
Regardless of whether Christians choose the “Benedict Option”, or the “Dominican Option”, or the “Gregorian Option”, or any other option, today’s First Reading places before us a salient reminder. If secular culture is subject to decay and collapse, so also is the spiritual life of a child of God, and of His entire People. The image of the potter, and the Lord’s message regarding the potter’s work, is an Old Testament complement to Jesus’ exhortation to remove the plank from one’s own eye before attempting to remove the speck from another’s. “Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand”.