The Word Among Us

June 2017 Issue

A Letter from the Publisher

By: Joe Difato

A Letter from the Publisher by Joe Difato

In our January issue, we focused on three ways to grow in holiness this year: by asking God to melt us and mold us, by asking him to fill us, and by asking him to use us to help build his Church. We also promised to follow up on these three topics later in the year.

Well, now is later. Over the next three issues, we will take up each of these three themes. This issue focuses on asking Jesus to melt us and mold us. We will at look how God forms us as a potter forms clay. We’ll also look at what Scripture means when it talks about the Lord’s refining fire. And we’ll look at how our hearts can melt when we come in touch with the Lord.

God’s Relentless Pursuit. Last month, I celebrated my forty-sixth year “with the Lord.” In May of 1971, I went to my first prayer meeting in my parish. On that night, I was filled with God’s love in a new and remarkable way. The encounter changed my life, and forty-six years later, I can still say that it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Since that time, I have seen the Holy Spirit mold me into the likeness of Jesus. Of course, I am, as Paul says, “but a dim image” (1 Corinthians 13:12). I still have many flaws. Nonetheless, I have made progress. I see how God has given me the grace to push through many of my personal weaknesses. I also see how Jesus has implanted in me a love for people that I know doesn’t come from me.

I have been in the “School of Christ” for forty-six years. Unlike Mary, the mother of Jesus, I’m never going to graduate! But I do know that despite my sometimes stubborn resistance to him, Jesus continues to open my eyes to his love and melt away the selfishness, the pride, and all the other sinful ways that are still at work in me. God has been relentless in pursuing me—just as he has been relentless in his pursuit of you!

Precious as Gold. Keep this one thing in mind as you read this issue: in God’s eyes you are as precious as gold. He considers you the crowning work of his creation. He loves you as his own child, and he delights in you.

But remember also that none of us are pure gold. We all have impurities in our lives. And so God is constantly at work, molding us into perfect vessels. He is seeking to remove all of our blemishes and to burn away all of our impurities. In fact, he is trying to mold us right now. The more we welcome his work in our hearts, the more we will find him shaping us into something beautiful for him.

All month long, fix your eyes on Jesus, the sinless One who lived an unblemished life. And fix your eyes on Mary, the Immaculate One whose entire life was one constant yes to the Lord. Let Jesus’ grace and Mary’s intercession help keep your heart in the hands of God, the Master Potter. May God bless you.

Joe Difato