Gospel according to Luke 5:1-11
While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening
to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."
Simon said in reply,
"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets."
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
"Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men."
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.
Intellectually, we know that nothing is impossible for God, but when we become a personal witness to His power and majesty in the manifestation of miraculous events, we are still surprised, awestruck and dumbfounded.
This has happened to me a number of times and I wonder whether it is because I lack faith and so am constantly amazed at what He can do, or is it something else in the nature of the miracles that profoundly affects me. I believe it is a combination of possibly all the above. When the Lord decides to reveal a slither of His glory, my soul cannot handle it. It is not yet ready. And I am grateful that I am not dead by being present in His overpowering glory, especially at Holy Mass.
The first reading and the Gospel today reminds me of the unworthiness of Isaiah and Peter, but more so of my own unworthiness before the Lord.
God knows that our souls are not ready to receive Him in full understanding so He hides in simple humble form of bread and wine. He is patient with us because we are weak and small. He waits for us in our slowness in the struggle to holiness. He is kind and merciful so that we do not perish despite being in His presence at Mass, for we would surely be like Peter and ask the Lord to depart from us when we see our uncleanliness before the purity of Jesus, else we die.
It can be likened to trying to run a marathon without any training, our bodies would also want to die after such attempts.
Holiness is the capacity to receive God fully. Striving for holiness is the struggle to prepare and “train” our souls to be with God completely in all His goodness, beauty, truth and majesty. Our goal is heaven, but first we have to have an exercise program.