"When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, 'Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.'"
I have really enjoyed re-reading the parts of "Jesus: A Pilgrimage" as the Gospel stories come up in the daily readings. Today, I re-read the chapter on Gennesaret and I loved Fr. James Martin's take on why Peter told Jesus to depart and then, almost immediately, dropped everything to follow Jesus. According to Fr. Martin, Peter felt unworthy and fearful (fearful in general, fearful of change and also fearful of intimacy). We all, too, may experience these feelings and thus, not be eager to step out of the boat and follow Jesus. One line, though, strikes me: Fr. Martin says, "Jesus knows Peter's weaknesses and call him anyway. Jesus calls us anyway, too, in spite of our weaknesses." Peter knows he is just a guy--a fisherman. His humanness shows up time and time again, through his impulsive behavior. He gets it wrong as often as he gets it right...and yet, he is the man for Jesus. As Fr. Martin points out, "It took time, after all, for Simon to become Peter." That is such a wonderful comfort for us, too, Friends. It takes time for us to become the people Jesus knows we are. Jesus will never give up on us, and we must never give into the fear and unworthiness we may experience when Jesus calls us! Love, heidi
"While there is still jealousy and rivalry among you, are you not of the flesh, and walking according to the manner of man?"
1 Corinthians 3:3
This reading got me thinking this morning: at what point can we lose our concern for things of the world or of the flesh? At what point do our yearnings for material things, our petty jealousies and rivalries drift away? The other day at lunch, we were talking about the relative burden of "stuff." It has to be stored, arranged, locked up, and the worst of all--moved. At what point do we cross over from wanting more stuff to letting go of it and freeing ourselves of its burden? I would say the closer we get to God and God's glory, the easier it is to let go of stuff. It may take until the end of our lives or it may happen as we draw closer to God even here in this world. My mom was the great teacher of the Stuff Lesson for me. She went from having to share a dress with her aunt during the Depression, to having two closets full of clothes at her peak, to having everything she owned fit into a small box by the time she went to her glory. I hope to move to the "small box" stage a bit sooner! What about you? Love, heidi
"Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you."
St. Thomas Aquinas, as quoted in "Living With Christ"
As we begin a new month, new work week, new school year, this prayer is a beautiful way to ask God for exactly what we need! How do each of these elements look in our daily lives? We cannot know God's ways without studying God's word. We cannot love like God without turning our hearts over to God--our human hearts just can't love that big. We can ask God to help us to do what we should do--conduct ourselves with honesty, integrity and compassion. And finally, we wait for God-patiently, and with eager anticipation. God will answer our prayers and give us exactly what we need to live our lives in love. Blessings on your new week, month, school year! Love, heidi