“Leave me I am a sinful man…. Come. I will make you a fisher of men.”
Leave me, God, you can’t stand to be around me, I’m sure of this. I’ve done this or that, suffered this or that, been this or that, neglected this or that, am still this or that….
Sound familiar? I’ve said these things, and I’ve heard these very words from so many wounded souls I’ve listened to.
We even hear people saying these words in the Bible. We hear saints saying them.
In the case of the citation which opened this article, it was St. Peter himself who said them. He was in a boat and was gracious enough to let Jesus sit in the boat to escape the press of the crowds as he taught them. He, the lead fisherman, was told by the carpenter (Jesus), to lower his nets for a catch. Sure, I can hear Peter grumbling to himself after a whole night of catching nothing. What could a farmer know about fishing that he himself didn’t know already. And the number of fish started to tear the nets and capsize the boat.
Then Peter knew. He touched his own pride in a way that made him realize he didn’t like who he had become. And he knelt at Jesus feet and said, “Leave me….” Did Peter want Jesus to leave him? No. It was rather, “How shall I abide this blaze of glory which I see now before me!”
Then Jesus amazingly said nothing about his past. He said instead, “Come and be my disciple. I have a job to do and a place for you. You can be a part of my dream for the redemption of all humanity. Just come with me.” The blaze of glory is now no longer terrifying holiness before which we tremble. It is instead the incarnate God kneading himself into our sinfulness and bringing us to glory!
In a world that is being marred by ever increasing criticism, slander, and cocky condescension on both political and personal levels, the Christian is called to the foolish wisdom of Jesus. In every one is the finger of God. In every person there is possibility. Each one has a place, and how I interact with that person could be the bridge for them finding God’s place for them.
Be a fool. Be a bridge. Experience the inner joy of seeing someone find their place in God’s dream for them and expand to fill it with tears and joy in their heart.
by Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP
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