Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8; Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 3-5, 7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or 15:3-8, 11; Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:1-11
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10). Being in the presence of God is not always a comfortable experience. Today’s readings make us aware of our sinfulness. Isaiah has a vision of God on “a high and lofty throne,” surrounded by angels, smoke swirling up, and cries out, “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips.” When Jesus points out where the fish are to be found, Peter responds, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Even Paul, remembering how Jesus appeared to him, writes that he himself is “not fit to be called an apostle.” Do we live in a time when people are more awestruck by pop/movie/TV stars, sports figures, and political leaders than by the living God who created, redeemed, and continues to sanctify (“to make holy”) us? Many times, we hear the words “Do not be afraid” in scripture. Perhaps fear is like cholesterol; there is a healthy and an unhealthy version. One can lead to paralysis before God, the other to joining confidently in God’s work.