4th Sunday after Pentecost 2.7.17 Conversion
Peter is overawed. He sinks to the ground before the Lord. He is doing what we should all do. In every Mass we say Domine, non sum dignus.
It is true. None of us is worthy, even if we were sinless, because we are still so inferior to God.
We humble ourselves, primarily to glorify God. It is His goodness we are acknowledging, and how far He is above us.
As to us: we will never be worthy but we can go some way to be less unworthy, to give God the best we can give.
Grasping the goodness of God, we are more likely to behave according to His will; to behave not only in external compliance, but with an internal desire to please Him. Because we are so caught up in wonder, we do not, or would not, seek to overrule Him,
Some sort of revelation is required - a ‘Peter’ moment. Leave me, Lord, I am a sinful man.
This is a moment of clearer than usual insight into the state of things. I have been doing the wrong thing, or been on the wrong track for a long time. Maybe I can come back.
This could happen in various ways. God has the whole universe and all its forces and processes at His disposal. He is an artist with many brushes and paints to call upon.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion, and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.Wis
A bad conscience is hard to live with, but it can be buried under a lot of transient experiences, and false gods.
The noise of our present society is partly to drown out the voice of conscience, and the voice of God. All the noise in the world, however, cannot avoid coming to terms with God at some point.
It is better to listen to Him than to try to hide from Him. The Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made. (Ps 145,9)
When we pray for conversion of sinners this is what we mean – that each person will have a moment of truth, a realization of his own nothingness, and the infinite goodness of God.
Then, when humbled enough, they will be ready to be filled with His grace and live a new life.
Post-conversion brings other problems. If we have been converted we have to keep working on our level of holiness.
We need to be always in a state of readiness, like a well-maintained vehicle that can be used at any moment.
There are so many points to consider, so many moral demands, and situations we meet.
There are so many ways to go wrong; but also so many opportunities for growth.
We may be going well in one area of our lives, not so well in another one.
We need to maintain an intensity of commitment, not giving way to discouragement.
Whenever we need encouragement we go back to the basics such as in today’s Gospel.
We recall God's power to do anything.
We recall His willingness to engage with us; indeed it is all for us in the first place.
Note that Peter requested Our Lord to leave, but He did not leave. Nor does He leave us.
He is prepared to stay, and work on the sinners! He hopes that each sinner can be turned into a saint. This was the whole idea of His coming in the first place.
We are continuously converted towards Him, growing in holiness; thus being more likely to draw others into the Church – fishers of men.