Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Is 6:1-2a, 3-8
1 Cor 15:1-11
Lk 5:1-11

Blessings, we all have them, no matter what we might think of our circumstances. Perhaps we think we have more than we will ever need. More likely, we don’t think we have nearly enough. We could always use more we think, more money, more space, more time, more something. If we are honest with ourselves, however, we are blessed in some way, no matter how meager we may think our circumstances are. My associate always starts off our non-denominational services for our residents and staff by singing a song that goes, “We’re blessed, we’re blessed, we’re blessed. We have shelter, clothing and strength, we are blessed, we don’t deserve it but yet we are blessed.” We tend to discount the blessings we have perhaps because we don’t believe we deserve them. Well, we don’t. We don’t deserve whatever blessings we have, so we are skeptical, and we are afraid. We know we are not worthy, we know that we can never earn those blessings that God has granted us. We fear for no reason, the blessings we have are a gift, God’s grace is a gift, freely given despite the fact we don’t deserve it. In the first reading the writer proclaims;
“Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips;” but despite his fear the next thing that happens is amazing, it is a gift, God’s grace granted freely as, “one of the seraphim flew to me,
holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it, and said, ‘See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.’”
In the Gospel reading today Jesus asks Peter to set out from the shore so that Jesus could teach the crowd without being crushed or pushed into the sea. Peter does as he was asked, then when Jesus finishes teaching he tells Peter to set out for deep water and lower his nets for a catch. Peter tells Jesus that they had fished all night unsuccessfully, but he would do as Jesus asked. Now Peter was a fisherman, a rough-hewn, straight talking, hard-minded businessman. He was probably skeptical about the possibility of catching anything, but he did as Jesus asked. He did as Jesus asked and was blessed with a harvest of fish so bountiful it nearly sank his boat and another. Peter knew he did not deserve this blessing, he knew that by the standard of his day he may have been a good guy, a hale fellow well-met sort, but not a holy man. This gift frightened him, because he knew he did not deserve it. He looked to Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
Each of us fits in that same place, the place where the writer of the first reading was, the place where Peter was. When confronted with the greatness of God, when facing the grace and the almost unbearable love that God showers upon us, we are terrified. We don’t deserve this, we are a people of unclean lips, a people who are good by some standard, but surely nor holy, surely not worthy of God’s attention much less God’s boundless love. We are so programmed to think we have to earn things, we have a hard time believing that this great gift is ours, with no way we can reciprocate, no way we can earn it. We can’t earn it but we still feel a need to do something, we do have to respond somehow, don’t we? We can respond, first by accepting the gift, by not being afraid of the gift. Then, knowing that we are not working to earn this gift of love, of grace, we look around and offer it, undeserved, without reservation or expectation, to the rest of the world.
“Here I am,” I said; “send me!”
Deacon John
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Feb. 7, 2010

1 comment:

victor said...

I know that I'm not worthy of God's Blessings but I still thank HIM for Loving U>S so much that He died to save everyone of our cells from our sins if we let HIM.

I keep praying each day and telling every one of my cells that we will all someday find enough "Faith" and we'll never again be afraid of HIS LOVE and then we'll all be on our way to Our Lord's Grade One with God's Angels to learn how to become perfect like Our Heavenly Family is.

Keep "IT" UP John