THE WEEK OF TRINITY V – THURSDAY

LESSON: ROMANS 5:18-21

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken. Luke 5:8-9

We may take Peter here as an example of those who are to believe in the eternal blessings and actually see them. A sinful conscience is by nature so constituted that it does what Peter does here, it flees from its Savior and thinks, “I am not worthy of being saved and sitting among the saints and angels. The experience of all this good is too much for me.” The straitened conscience cannot comprehend the greatest of blessings but thinks as follows, “If I were like St. Peter or St. Paul, I might be able to believe it all.”

This is all very foolish, for if you wanted to take your stand on your own holiness, you would be building on sand. Do not do this but follow St. Peter. In regarding himself quite unworthy of such grace, he is really proving his worthiness.

It is just because you are a sinner, and realize this fact, that you must trust yourself entirely to God’s grace. You must open up your conscience to its widest extent and let your heart swell so that grace may enter in.

SL 11:131 (16)

PRAYER: We thank and praise You, heavenly Father, for Your friendly approach to us sinners and for the wonderful riches of Your goodness toward us. May this ever be an incentive and an invitation to us to draw even closer to You and readily accept Your grace whenever it is offered to us. In Jesus’ name, we ask it. 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.