Today’s Gospel reading begins when Jesus is in the Lake of Gennes’aret. A crowd of people have gathered around to hear him speak. You notice that everywhere Our Master walks, people are always looking for him. This shows us how in our inner being, we yearn for God. We have this huge opening in our heart. We try to fill it with empty things that provide empty promises. God created us to have a special relationship with him. God shows us this when Jesus approached Simons boat. Jesus tells Simon to pull out a bit from the shore and he speaks to the crowd. After Jesus preaches, he tells Simon to “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” When God calls us to do a mission, he is very direct with us. He wants us to go into the unknown and in our human nature, we get scared. We don’t like to go into places that we’re not comfortable. We’re not ready to suffer. We’re not sure how we will deal with it. We, like Simon sometimes answer God back, maybe frustrated, maybe tired or annoyed. “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” Think of the Sons in Matthew 21:28-31 “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” There have been times in my personal life that I didn’t want to do God’s will. I was scared and I kept telling God, send someone else oh Lord, I’m a wicked beast, unworthy to be in your presence. I told God that I’m such a sinner, a disgrace before you! When God’s mercy finally touched my heart, I was able to say, “God, I surrender myself to you. Just as you called Simon, a Fisherman to bring souls to you, you have the power and authority to use me in however you wish to use your servant.” The fowl beast hated this. He sent his full wrath upon me. God granted me the mercy and I was able to do a “General Confession” with a Dominican Priest. A General confession or “Life Confession” as it is called, is when you recount all the deep dark sins that you have held back. Maybe you couldn’t confess these sins because they are the most shameful or disgusting before God. Sins you have committed that you gave the devils ties to hold on to your life. God, who is Lord and Master of the Universe, has the power to break all chains. God, the Holy Spirit who breathes life into the flesh of a man and brings him to life, the same Holy Spirit that moved over the waters when the world was created, will relive all those hidden sins that bind you to the dark side. He will give you the courage to confess those sins to the priest. CCC (Catechism of the Catholic Church) 208 “Faced with God’s fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face in the presence of God’s holiness. Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: “Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips.” Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: “I will not execute my fierce anger. . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst.” The apostle John says likewise: “We shall. . . reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”
God who gives these chosen men the Authority to Forgive sins, once a Priest gives you absolution, the chains of the devils are broken. God has won you back from the brink of hell. God most merciful, God Most Holy has freed you and when you are open to his will, he can work mighty blessing into your lives. Jesus worked a mighty miracle when the nets were filled with fish. It was filled with so much fish that they called another boat and both boats almost sank trying to get back to the shore. Simon Peter knew at that point who Jesus was and threw himself down, he realized how sinful he is. We are all unworthy before God. Only God can grant that mercy to us. If we are open to the Word of God, then we can, by his Mercy break free from evil. Jesus Said to Simon Peter, “Do not be afraid”. God is telling us not to fear his love and his mercy. Now, don’t get it twisted, this doesn’t mean that you take God’s mercy for granted. Don’t treat God like a person selling lemons on a street. We must always remember that God will judge us for every word spoken and every action taken! We shouldn’t assume that we made it to heaven. We must always strive toward salvation. God wants us to be united with him in his love. Jesus chose Simon along with James and John, the sons of Zeb’edee to give up everything and follow him. When God calls you, don’t ignore the call. Don’t be like me who finally answered God’s calling late in life. It will not be easy, for the devil is going to prowl around, waiting for you to slip and leap on you like a lion. You will take a beating for God. But endure my brothers and sisters. Abbot Anthony (Saint) of Egypt said, “I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, ‘What can get through from such snares?” Then I heard a voice saying to me, “Humility.'” This is the hardest virtue to earn, but with God’s mercy, it can be achieved. Let us also invoke the Mother of God, Mary to show us how to say “Yes” to God.
Let us Pray,
Almighty and Ever-living God, we thank you for the word Given and that you sent your Son, Jesus into our lives. We, by your Will, trust that you will lead us threw the hardest parts of our lives to learn disciplines and reach a higher level of holiness. Thru the Intercession of St. Anthony of Egypt and Our Lady of Sorrows, Mary, lead us to accept your will and do the mission that is before us, thru Christ our Lord, Amen!