In our 1st reading from Isaiah, we hear Isaiah respond “Here I am” to the Lord’s question: “whom shall I send?” Isaiah, knowing his own sinfulness cries out: “Woe to me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips…” The seraphim touches his lips with the burning ember: “See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.” Isaiah was made ready by the Lord for the mission of being a prophet to Israel. While a seraphim may not touch our lips with a burning ember, we know that in every sacramental Confession, our “wickedness is removed” and “our sin purged”. We all know the value of regular Confession…and when we are trying to make a major decision, struggling with some difficult challenges or problems or embarking on an important task…Confession is a great way to purge oneself…and enable a clear pathway for the Holy Spirit to impart in us wisdom and understanding.
We all can echo St. Paul’s words in our 2nd reading: “But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace in me has not been ineffective.” While we perhaps credit ourselves for accomplishments and achievement of goals, we echo Jesus’ words: “apart from me, you can do nothing” (Jn15:5).
In our gospel, Peter, like Isaiah recognizes his sinfulness: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Discipleship is not about sitting on the shore (i.e., we must leave our comfort zone)…it is about going out into the deep waters…working hard, even though we may not see the fruits of our labor. When we too respond: “Here I am”. We can start by praying for specific people in our life to know Jesus Christ or to enter into deeper relationship with him. Pray each day for them and the Holy Spirit will lead you to be a “fisher of men”.
May God bless us always!