O Lord, I Am Not Worthy
How often we have said that! We look at our lives and wonder: Why would God want to have anything to do with me, let alone love me unconditionally? And yet, God does!
Today we see three men who utter that same sentiment. In Isaiah’s time, because humans were considered unworthy to stand before God, seeing God almost certainly meant death, Isaiah’s cry is very real: “Woe is me, I am doomed!” But an angel touched Isaiah’s lips with a hot coal, telling him: “Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, you are purged.”
In Saint Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he acknowledges himself to be “the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
When Simon Peter saw the catch of fish threatening to sink their boats because of their number when he obeyed Jesus’ command to “put out to deep water and lower your nets,” he fell to his knees and begged: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus reassured Simon Peter: “Do not be afraid. From now on you will be catching men.”
In each of these instances, God uses the faith and humility of an unlikely person to effect great change in each life and in salvation history.
Just before receiving Jesus in Eucharist, we implore: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” As we extend our hands to receive Jesus’ sacred body and blood, we can join Isaiah, Paul and Peter in gratitude that we, too, have been chosen to further the kingdom of God on earth.