Once, when I finished swimming at the YMCA in Danbury CT I noticed that in the far lane near the windows there were several women with babies.
The babies were being held in the water and were moving their arms and legs and making happy sounds.
Then as I watched in amazement a life guard took each baby from the mother and gently let them drop out of their hands into the water.
Each baby instinctively held their breath when their heads went under the water and then they rose to the surface and began to float and move their hands and feet.
They didn’t seem to mind even though they were in way over their heads.
They didn’t seem to be afraid at all.
They were definitely in deep water at least it was deep for them.
In today’s 1st and 3rd reading we are clearly dealing with people who feel that they are in over their heads.
Isaiah felt he was in way over his head,
because he had been in the very presence of God.
In fact he was sure he was going to die because he knew he was a sinner and so unworthy to be in the presence of God.
Peter felt he was in over his head
when he saw the incredible catch of fish they had made.
He knew he was a sinner and he knew Jesus must have been a very holy man.
“Depart from me he said for I am a sinful man.”
How often have all of us shared the same sentiment, the same feeling?
Both Isaiah and Peter felt that they were not worthy and probably they weren’t.
And yet Isaiah went on to be one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament.
And Peter who would even deny Jesus three times
became the leaders of the Church, a fisher of men. (and women)
Both of them were called by God who obviously knew all about them.
He knew that they were sinners.
He knew their strengths and weaknesses.
And he knew they were up to the challenge.
Both took a risk
and because to their willingness to do so
both of these men
both of these sinners
did incredible things.
Peter’s risk shows just how abundant God’s grace can really be.
Remember the nets were filled to overflowing ….
even to the breaking point.
Because of his willingness to put out into the deep water even when it didn’t make any sense at all.
Peter did not just catch a few fish he caught a ton of them.
All of us are called to take risks
All of us are called to go into the deep
All of us are called to venture into uncharted territory
It is not easy.
Sadly some of us are never able to over come our fear of doing so.
There have been so many times that I have felt I was not up to the task,
so many times I felt I was In deep water in over my head.
I felt over my head when I entered the novitiate and kept tripping on my habit.
I felt over my head when I faced a classroom full of kids for the first time.
I knew I was over my head when I flew to in Italy to go to graduate school only knowing the word for bathroom.
I felt over my head when I came to Catholic to interview and I had to talk to a Cardinal.
I feel over my head when some people place before me the their life’s story
and I don’t know what to say or how to comfort them.
I always feel in over my head when I have to talk in public it is so uncomfortable for me.
It would have been so easy for Peter to say no.
It was morning and everyone there knew that you fished at night.
Jesus’ request just didn’t make any sense at all.
God can ask us to do things that make no sense.
But these readings prove that when we answer God’s call
things will still work out if we trust him.
So holy ones… we all have to understand that…
God can use us despite our sinfulness
God can use us despite our fear
God can use us in ways that don’t make sense to us at all
When God’s call comes to you…
When you know God is asking you to "Go out into the deep water...
When what God asks you to do something that flies in the face of reason…..
When you feel you are absolutely not up to the call,
And not worthy of the call,
whatever it is
put out into the deep.
Every single one of us knows that there is something God wants us to do
God needs us to do.
Yes All of us have thoughts like.
It makes no sense
Depart from me for I am a sinful man.
When God Calls
Have no fear
Hold your breath
and Say yes..
And get ready for the Great Adventure.