THE WEEK OF TRINITY V – FRIDAY

LESSON: PSALM 143

If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Psalm 130:3-4

When you feel your sins and become like Peter with a desire to run away from God, you must turn around and get closer and closer to Him. For if God were disposed to flee from you and were not willing to take away your sins, He would never have come to you or pursued you. Therefore, the more you feel that you are a sinner, and the more you want to run away from God, the more importunately you should seek Him.

Mark this well! For as St. Peter reacted here, so all consciences react in fear because of their sins, trying to escape from God and seeking some false god. Do not end your struggle like this. You cannot possibly end it like this. Present a bold front and cling to God. Otherwise, when you run off in search of works to seek help with another god, and then later want to come back to the true God, you may well have the same experience that the foolish virgins had after going off to buy oil for their lamps, returning only to find the doors locked (Matthew 25:10).

But what did Jesus do after Peter had humbled himself to such an extent that, in great fear and terror, he requested the Lord to depart from him? Did He allow Peter to remain in his despondency? By no means! He proceeded to comfort Peter with the words, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men” (Luke 5:10).

SL 11:1311 (18-20)

PRAYER: It is Your assurance, heavenly Father, that the more we feel our sins, the nearer we always are to the forgiveness of sins. Keep us ever steadfast in our faith and hope that You will help and save us, in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:131-140.