Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time
Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8 I
Corinthians 15: 1–11
Luke 5: 1-11
On a scale from one to ten and ten is the best, how holy are we today? Are you doing ok, or are you feeling a bit unworthy, like you are not holy enough? Maybe we have said or done something that we are ashamed of this week? There are lots of reasons why not to come to church, you need one good reason to come, and we are given that in our readings today. In our readings, Isaiah, Paul, and Peter all respond to God’s call by saying, “I am not worthy enough because I am a sinner.”
In our first reading, Isaiah is overwhelmed by the vision he is having as angels are singing, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts.” Isaiah says, “I am not worthy because I am a man of unclean lips.” An angel touches his lips with a burning ember, and he is made clean. Isaiah responds, “Here I am; send me.” How have our words been unholy? How can we speak words of holiness this week?
In our second reading, St. Paul says, “I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle.” He continues by saying, “I am who I am because of God’s grace.” How have our actions not been holy and hurtful to others? God’s grace is still being showered down upon us.
I love our Gospel, Peter and the others are cleaning their nets after being out fishing all night long and catching nothing. Jesus gets into Peter’s boat and tells him to put out into deeper water, and he will catch some fish. You can almost feel the frustration in Peter as a professional fisherman being told what to do but he does it, and when he does he hauls in a huge amount of fish. Peter realizing what happens proclaims “Depart from me, Lord, I am an unholy man.” What I like about the story is not the amount of fish but that Jesus gets into the boat with Peter. Jesus is right alongside Peter even in Peter’s sinfulness. I think that is a good image to hang onto in our lives.
We do not come to Mass because we are holy, we come to Mass because God is holy and we need to come and give him glory and praise. In a few minutes, in preparation to receive the Eucharist we are going to say the very same words that the angels proclaimed in our first reading. We are going to say, “Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts.” In Hebrew theology, this was the highest form of worship to give God by repeating how holy three times.
Isaiah, Paul, and Peter realized their un-holiness, but when God called they stepped forward and did his will, may we do likewise.