“Leave me Lord, I am a sinful man”

“….Do not be afraid, from now on you will be catching men”     Lk 5: 8,10

I’ve read this many times, but never really looked at the exchange this way.  Simon seems to be overwhelmed by Jesus, both his words and the miracle of his nets filled with fish.  He is in awe and recognizes his sinfulness in Jesus’ presence, as we all would, I am sure.

And how does Jesus respond?  As he did so many times, and as he still does, ‘do not be not afraid’.  Afraid of what?

Afraid of God?  I don’t think so, here God was, sitting in his boat, speaking with the crowds…a message of love.

Afraid of his sin?  Perhaps that is it.

‘Simon, don’t be afraid of your sin.  I am bigger than your sin.  Do not let your sin keep you from me.  Do not let your sin hinder you for the plans that I have for you’.

‘Do not be afraid’ – words for Simon then, words for us today.