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Over 60 church staff gather for a day of recollection

IMG_3746KOTA KINABALU – Over 60 church staff from nine parishes of the KK Archdiocese gathered for a day long recollection at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on 12 Sep 2014.

The recollection was guided by Fr John Prior from Flores, Indonesia.

Using Jeremiah 18:1-6 and a video clip entitled ‘The Art of the Potter’, he guided the participants to reflect life as clay in God’s hands.

Fr John encouraged the participants to reflect on the message of the clip and its relevance to their lives and current occupations. He posed to the participants, “Are you soft enough to be shaped by our God the Creator?”

The clip portrayed the sensitive hand of God as the potter’s hand in the smoothening out of all imperfections, working the inside and outside to give depth and dimension, fashioning and shaping and reshaping, while giving the utmost care and undivided attention to each creation.  Finally, even with unpromising soil (clay), the potter already has an image for it.

Fr John drew the participants to relate how we as Church were given shape by both the internal and external forces.  Taking the national issues on Islamisation of Christians as an example, he asked, “Do we see this as a danger or an opportunity, as a curse or is there a blessing behind it?”

Fr John underscored that God not only wants to change our shape personally but also communally.  In the way we respond and in the way we are willing to adapt, the best way to reshape is to witness to Christ.

From the group discussion and open sharing, the participants perceived that it was a blessing that actually provided us with an opportunity to rise up and be a witness of Christ’s love.

He concluded the session with emphasis that everyone is a child of God, thus everyone is our brother and sister and this is the teaching of the Gospel. He asked, “Are we able to live equally?” and added, “The Potter has the will and power to shape us according to His Gospel.”

The last session of the day brought all to grasp the work of God in the bigger scale of the cosmos. Fr John said, “When we are in difficulties, we need a vision.”

“The sense of admiration of God’s creation is able to amplify our ecological sense which in turn is capable of preserving a healthy environment. Respect the earth as there is no point in healthy living on a chronically sick earth”, he emphasized.

He continued, “If men continue to make decisions in the world by turning their backs on the environment, soon our children and their children will not have a healthy place to live in”.

In sum, Fr John concluded that this cosmic vision, if put into action now, would have the ability to create a healthy relationship among us, similarly between us and the environment, thus honouring our God the Creator. – Linda Edward 

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