I've been leading Word and Communion services while our pastor has been on medical leave, so I thought I would share my reflections here for the next few weeks. Some are written, and Some will be video.
If you haven't noticed, we are focused on Peter a lot these days in our lectionary. Here we have the story of Jesus showing Simon (Peter) the power of His word. Peter, in humility, confesses he is a sinner unworthy of this gift bestowed by Jesus.
Aren't. We. All.
I can't count the number of times in a day I feel unworthy of the blessings I posses thanks to God. Sadly, there is a lot of "Catholic Guilt" running amuck in our communities of faith. We, like Peter, say, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
Let's pause for a second and look at how Jesus reacts to Peter at this moment. Jesus moves beyond the sins and calls Peter forward into action.
When we dwell on our sins too much, we often get lost in them. We find ourselves consumed by negative self-talk, focusing on things we cannot control and begging that God will deliver us. Jesus makes an excellent point without much of a word otherwise. "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." Leave the sin where it belongs, in the past. Get up and follow Christ, then you'll see how to experience practical reconciliation and spiritual reconciliation.
As St. James asserts, if faith is real—if we truly trust God—then our faith will lead to all kinds of practical actions to benefit others in need. We will attract more people to our way and point to the glory of God.
It's a pretty simple formula that Jesus displays for us in His work with Peter from today's readings. Now, let's do our best to apply this lesson and forget the bits that make us less than.