Blog # 446 The Gospel...My Gospel...Me.
Since there is but one God-Creator of all that exists, and God alone is holy, it follows that holiness has to be in a relationship with God, a sharing somehow in God's holiness, a reflection of it, an expression of it in a limited way in our own lives. And since God is present always and everywhere in all that exists, we can discover reflect and express God's holiness in all that exists, always and everywhere.
There is a lot of 'meat' in that paragraph. Yet it is very simple. I used it about twenty years ago in one of my weekly parish bulletins. It seemed to express the thought and lesson conveyed by the Epistle (Is 6: 1-8) and Gospel (Luke 5: 1-11) of the Mass that Sunday.
Isaiah, through a vision, is put into a relationship with God. The experience is awesome for him. He is afraid. He is conscious of his unworthiness and separation from God. Then God's messenger comes to him and he is transformed. He becomes a messenger of God's holiness himself.
In the Gospel Peter relates to Jesus at the beginning in a very practical way. He supplies the boat from which Jesus would preach to the people on the shore. Peter can handle this. Jesus could have used any other boat.
Then when Jesus finished speaking he sent Peter out to fish. The carpenter tells the fisherman how and where to fish! Almost as though God would not know, Peter tells Jesus about the night before when he caught nothing. Now, not as a fisherman, but as one sent by Jesus, Peter lowers the nets and makes a great catch. What was different in his experience now and last night was not in his competence as a fisherman, in the quality of his boat, or his 'good luck' but precisely in that he was now fishing according to the plan of Jesus. Jesus was in him and in his fishing as God, the Holy One, was to be in Isaiah.
God IS, always, everywhere, in all that exists. The same God who was dealing with Isaiah was dealing with Peter through Jesus. The same God is dealing with us! There is but one
God. Our time is part of always. Our place is part of everywhere. We are part of the total that exists. The God of Peter, the /God of Isaiah, is our God.
That simple, yet profound. It sheds light, yet challenges us to use the light it gives to face the darkness we know. We might have expected Jesus to tell Peter to come with him to the synagogue to pray. But He told him to fish. God was able to be with Peter everywhere. His fishing was to be a holy experience, done according to the plan of God. There would be times when Jesus would take Peter to the mountain, to the desert, to the garden, precisely to rest, reflect, and to pray. But He would also send Peter fishing, to work in the world, and to experience reflect and express God's holiness there as well.
But for all of his to occur Peter would have to listen understand and follow. He would have to make the plan of God in Jesus his own. Here we are in 2015. We are Isaiah. We are Peter. God is still the Holy One. God is still sending Jesus. God is sending us. There are stages to the process. First we must hear the word of God. Then we must understand what we hear. Then we must follow, make what we hear or own and begin to live it. And when this begins to occur, that moment, that place where we are, whether it be fishing or at prayer, it is a holy moment, and that experience, and we, are holy with a share in the holiness of God. That is God's plan every day of our life. It is simple, yet divine.
It is something like eating an apple. The apple is real. We make it our own. By eating it we make it part of us and we do things with he energy it provides. So the Gospel. We must discover it to make it real. We must believe it to make it our own. Finally we must live with the energy and direction it gives. Then it is what the Gospel is intended to be for us.