05C – 6 Feb 2022

Here I am - send me.

Message by: Fr Richard M Healey

Sunday 05, Year C. I’m sure that every single one of us here can identify at least one particular thing in life that we think I’m pretty damn good at. That you know, maybe it was our profession or what our work is. Or maybe it was just, you know, a hobby or a particular dish that we cook. Maybe it’s a particular musical instrument that we play or some something else, something that we just think, yeah, I’m pretty great; I ace that every time that I undertake that. For me – I’m a geek – so it’s working with computers.  You know, I, that’s my domain and I’m able to move into that and it just be very comfortable whenever I’m in that situation. I’m sure Simon thought that being there on the boat was his area of expertise. The one thing that he knew how to do well, and so the fact that they’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing left him in a very fragile kind of situation or state and then to hear Jesus preaching and proclaiming this message, then to jump on his own boat and to ask him. Doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of interaction at this point. He’s just kind of commandeers the boat launches it out a little bit and starts to proclaim this message. And then at the end. The goal of Jesus – you know this Rabbi – what does he know about fishing. Yet he tells Simon to throw out the nets.  It’s like it’s the middle of the day now there’s no fish around. It’s only at night that you are possibly are able to get fish and clearly all after working all night long we got nothing, so there’s no chance at all Lord, there’s ever going to be any fish at this point in the experience. And yet he at least responds. He offers the nets and then throws them out. That experience in that encounter that Simon has with Jesus on that day just changes everything. Take yourself now back to the first reading back to that scene that Isaiah paints. We’re in the 6th chapter of the Book of Isaiah and he tells us the year it was in the year that King Uzziah died. So around the year 740 before the time of Jesus. And he just is there in the temple, praying. He doesn’t give us a reason. I guess he’s just like so many of you that they come early just to have that space just to be in that right space to be in that right place to allow the Lord space in your life. But I don’t think Isaiah was quite expecting the scene that suddenly appeared before him, and he sees the Lord seated on this high throne.  So glorious and so majestic that the temple is magnificent and as huge as it. Is only able to contain just the edges of his robe and their ministering to the Lord? Are these seraphs now? It’s the only place in Scripture that one of the Divine Council, one of the members of God, kind of staff team. That word is used to describe them. And the text the lectionary cuts out a little bit of this. We’re told that they have six wings, two to cover their faces because they don’t want to look upon the glory of God. They just they’re so over-awed by the wonder of what they’re seeing that they have to cover their faces to cover their nakedness or two to cover just the depths of who they are. And two more wings to do the flying work. It’s interesting that in other places where this word ‘seraph’ is used and it’s just a Hebrew word that we transliterate into English where this word is used, we translate the word there as poisonous snake. So a seraph is, you know, a connection back to the garden and to the serpent that’s there in Genesis 3. But these serpents, who are also the word, evokes the image of fiery. And so it’s this these fiery serpents with six wings (as you do) they’re ministering to the Lord, and they’re in the caught up in worship.   Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts of all of the other angels that are there ministering to the Lord, all the other spiritual beings that are caught up in this act of worship. And there is Isaiah and he’s just so freaked out. So overwhelmed by this whole situation, he can’t believe what’s happening and he knows.  That he’s not worthy. He knows that he can’t possibly be in this place. He knows that this is just too much for him. It’s way above his pay grade, and yet he’s there offering himself and then one of the serifs comes and grabs a coal out of the instance burner and brings it to him, you know. And again I think I would be freaking out at this point, particularly.  You know I’ve sometimes accidentally touched the coals or the incense burner. And you know they’re hot you don’t want them to come anywhere near you, and then suddenly one of these weird fire eats poisonous snakes with six wings comes flying at you with one of these calls.  And you’re like this isn’t gonna end well. And yet suddenly they take the call and touch it up on his lips and he’s purified. He’s cleansed. He’s healed, he’s restored, he’s renewed, and then Isaiah is able to take up his proper place. Now we need that interaction with God. We need that work of the Lord to purify things just as Simon falls at the knees, falls on his knees at the feet of Jesus just saying: leave me alone. I can’t do this, I am just too much of a central person. And yet Jesus will purify Jesus will reach beyond all of our limitations. All of those things that we think we can’t do just to make us available – to serve; to Minister and so Isaiah offers the only response that any one of us can offer to say. Well here I am. Here I am: send me. Today we might be so deeply aware of our faults or mistakes; all of the things that we’ve done wrong. All of the things that we just think we’re not that good at and yet in the midst of that, the response of Isaiah is the only thing that we can truly do. Here I am. Here I am.  Send me. Here I am; here I am; here I am: send me.

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