Sunday, February 10, 2019

Put Out Into The Deep

Put out into deep water.
Master, we have been hard at it all night and caught nothing, but at your command, I will lower the nets.
The nets began to tear, and the boats were in danger of sinking.
Peter says – leave me Lord, I am a sinful man.

Who is this man Jesus? Great Question!
A miracle worker? – wise teacher? – prophet? – holy man? – good man? Perhaps all of these, but is there something more?  He identified himself as one with God, the Son of God. Could it be true?

Certainly, most people agree that Jesus was an historical figure:
He existed - he lived – he taught – he died on a cross.
But the core Jesus question is Resurrection – did he rise from the dead? If he did – it changes everything – if he did not – what’s the point of this Church? Why do we bother having funeral Masses – if death is the end?  Or, did he conquer death?

Proofs for Resurrection – worth learning

Empty Tomb – the tomb was empty. There were all sorts of explanations –

The authorities took his body. Well, why did they not produce it to prove it was all a lie?
Robbers took it – but why and leave behind the only things worth something – his burial clothes.  
Disciples took it – but how did they do this in face of the Roman guards assigned by Pilate?

Bible recounts 11 times. St. Paul says this: first Cephas – Twelve – 500 brothers – James – all the apostles – lastly to me – on the road, the great persecutor of the early Christians – arresting and putting then to death.
Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting ME?  How can this be?  Did he hallucinate this? – 500 at once? Did they hallucinate? – impossible.

Transformed – Saul became Paul – great preacher of the good news – 11 were hiding in the Upper Room but now telling people Jesus is Alive!  10 out of 11 became martyrs – gave up their lives – for a made-up story???

Good news spread – even to Hopewell Junction. Jesus still impacting lives – 1 Billion Catholics – 2.4 Billion Christians.

Our faith is not a series of doctrines or teachings – but it is a person – Jesus, who broke the power of death and opened the way to eternal life for all of us. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life! 

When I figured this out – as I struggled with the idea of being a priest - my reaction was much like Isaiah – Paul – Peter – leave me Lord, I am a sinful man – you want to use me? – yes – so OK here I am send me! Put out into deep water, and you will never be the same!