V Epiphany

February 10, 2019

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

The movie Amadeus focuses on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – seen through the eyes of one of his contemporary composers, Antonio Salieri.  One of my favorite scenes is when Salieri – who was the composer to the Hapsburg Court has just presented the King with a new piece of music. 

Mozart hears the piece just once, and sits down at the piano and plays it – but then decides that he can improve on it and continues to play remarking, “That’s better, isn’t it?” as Salieri and other members of the Royal Court listen in amazement. 

This incident sparks an anger and jealousy in Salieri, who slowly works on a plan to drive Mozart mad which, is chronicled in the rest of the movie.

Have you ever been good at something?  Perhaps really good at something, and then met someone who – with great ease – shows that they are better than you?  What kind of feelings would that cause in you?

I don’t know?  I am not sure how I would feel if someone were to – say, take one of the sermons that I felt was one of my better sermons, and then said, “I would have used a different example, or changed this and that, and it would improve the sermon.”  I am not sure how I would react to that.

When you believe that you are good at something and then have someone else try to tell you how to do it better – it may just bring out the worst in us.

How about a silly example?  For those of you who may have had the opportunity to teach your child how to drive and then suddenly your child begins to critique that way you drive.  My reaction was usually – “I have been driving longer than you have been alive – I am quite aware of how to drive!”

St. Peter was a fisherman.   I would guess from some of clues to his personality found in the scripture that St. Peter probably thought himself to be a good fisherman – a capable fisherman.

He and his brother, and other people who were a part of his crew were out fishing all night and had caught nothing.  They were tired, probably frustrated, and – I would guess – ready to go home and rest after a long night of work.   Then, a stranger comes to them and tells them to go back out to the place where they had spent the night without catching a fish and to put out their nets.

The lesson for today says that they did what Jesus asked and the nets were almost to the point of breaking, because they were full of fish.  It is because of this experience that St. Peter and those who were with him left all that they had and followed Jesus.

I guess I am wondering how many things I think that I do well?  What are the things that I would have a hard time accepting advice about because I think that I do them just fine – thank you very much.

What kind of over-flowing grace – like the nets full of fish – am I missing because I do not think that I need Jesus to tell me what to do?  Where in my life can Jesus come in and show me how His advice – His words – can make it so much better than I could ever imagine?  How often does my ego get in the way of Jesus?

What about you?  Where in your life do you get in Jesus’ way?  How about we listen together?   Who knows how many fish we might catch?  AMEN.