About Harvester's Wanted:

A Catholic priest's reflections along the path of Faith.

When this life is complete, I pray they say I lived for the Greater Glory of God +AMDG+

PRAYER REQUESTS through link on right side-bar.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Introducing: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Goyette


Kortnee & Dan Nuptial Homily
Saint Aloysius,
Pewee Valley, KY

November 9, 2013


           I met Colby last summer. He was two at the time and he could barely talk, he could, however, run. I think he skipped learning how to walk and went straight into running. Colby was also the center of attention at the parish, and he knew it – everyone knew Colby and Colby never met a stranger. I know one thing about Colby, he’s going to break some hearts and cause his mother a world of frustration.

I was helping out with vacation bible school and I noticed Colby would come up to me, pretend to be picking something off my pants leg and walk away while putting this thing in his mouth. At first I though it was a piece of lent or something and so it concerned me that the child was swallowing anything he could get his tiny hands on, so I watched him closely and sure enough he was just walking up to me, pretending to take something off me, and eat it. I also noticed that he would only come to me, and none of the others standing around, and that he would also walk away right after taking his bite so to speak. It was this final clue that made it all click. Colby, you see, would come up with his mother at Mass, and she would receive Holy Communion. Colby, like many children, want something too. Now in a different setting, and without his mother’s controlling presence, Colby was going to come up to me and get what he wanted, even if it were only pretend. It was pretty profound to think that Colby was pretending to ‘eat me’ like he would one day truly partake of the Body of Christ that would be consecrated at an altar much like this one here. I was truly an image of Christ for Colby even if Colby couldn’t even begin to describe it to you.


            In our Gospel we hear of people approaching Jesus and they, like Colby, were not sure what they hoped to receive. They knew they wanted more wine because marriage feasts, in that culture, went on for days if not a week or more. Unfortunately we don’t have the time in our culture for such lengthy communal festivities. They wanted more wine but Jesus was insisting that he was not ready to begin his public ministry, he was not willing to give these people the wine they wanted and he wasn’t yet willing to give them the miracle they did not even think to want. Mary, his mother, on the other hand knew that Jesus was capable of filling a need and she bypasses his unwillingness and got things moving; letting Jesus handle the rest.

            Who then are we in this Gospel story? Who do we identify with? Especially for our lovely bride and groom, who are you to identify with? I think most of the time we are somewhere between the people who want something more, and Jesus who is not sure if he is ready to give it to them. We know we want more out of life but hesitation often holds us back. Now Mary is frequently a symbol for the Church, and she brings these two aspects together, and after examining the situation, she declares that it will work out. She, the Church, reveals that the mission is true and good.

             Dan and Kortnee, do you know exactly how your married life will play out? Of course not! Are you a little nervous as you prepare to make this definitive step in your lives? Of course you are! You hold within yourselves this very tension which the Gospel reveals to us. You have come before the Church asking for marriage, she in her wisdom has agreed that this is the vocation you are called to, and today you will make a public definitive act as you begin to live out that calling. You have a very real idea of what you are seeking but at the same time aren’t the surprises part of the excitement? You know you love one another, there is no doubt there. Where that love will lead you both, however, that is yet to be seen. So in a very real sense, Kortnee and Dan, you are both like Colby – like little children first grasping hold of a greater reality, and just like Colby you are reaching out for Christ, although you might not fully realize it. Your fulfillment is now bound to the other. Your spiritual paths are joined and you now will for now on approach this altar together as one. Remember the words of our second reading: clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Do this not only because you love one another, but because you are Christ for one another! Your relationship with one another affects your relationship with Christ, and vice versa. Do not work to hide Christ from the other but instead work to more fully reveal him to one another and through that love you will reveal him to the world. The world needs, and the Church needs, indeed I need, this sign of your love for one another and for God!



Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King


Homily for 34th Sunday of Ordinary, Year C
Cathedral of the Assumption,
Louisville, KY

November 24, 2013


Two weeks ago now there was a man standing out on Shelbyville Rd. right in front of the mall. He may still be out there for all I know; this may, in fact, be his plan from now until Christmas. Coincidently, or more likely with no coincidences at all, he was standing in front of Chick-fil-a there at the intersection. To ease your possible concerns: no, this is not a homily about Chick-fil-a or their policies and opinions. This man was, however, holding a sign in big black permanent marker that read: Christianity has failed. He was just there on the sidewalk, going back and forth, holding his sign, Christianity has failed. Now the thought crossed my mind: maybe he was using reverse psychology or maybe he truly believes Christianity has failed. All the same I did find it rather ironic as a relatively young man sitting in my vehicle wearing my collar, actively preparing to take on a lifelong calling to priestly ministry. I thought ‘I’m living proof that Christianity has not failed’ and in my arrogance I thought, much like the Roman soldiers in the gospel, ‘show me your proof!’. My thought was arrogant because Christianity has indeed failed: failed to meet this young man’s expectations, failed to entertain, failed to give simple answers to life’s complex questions, failed to meet the criterion of truth that this world itself doesn't even belief. In the world's eyes, Christianity failed in the beginning and will always fail.

The parallel with today’s Gospel is almost painful. Christ may as well have hung on that cross with a sign that not only said ‘King of the Jews’ but also a sign that read ‘I have failed!’ There, surrounded by his enemies and with only a precious few loved ones in sight, it looked like failure to all present. Where was the sense in all of this? Even one of the criminals pointed out the failure of Jesus. A man in the same position had the daring to point out how Jesus seemed to be a failure. Those witnessing these events at the time were pulled into thoughts of failure, how then are we to view the crucifixion as anything other than failure? It is so easy to see Jesus hanging on that cross and see failure, missed opportunities, and hard truths.

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Universe 

We are blessed to know the other side of the story, however. Humanity would have been blessed enough to have Christ born as one of us. We would have been blessed enough to have him die for our sins. God, however, was not finished pouring out his grace upon us for Christ rose from the dead and resurrected humanity with him. Today we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King. It is important to remember all that our king has done for us. Christ also did not leave the sign of his torture behind. He carries his cross still as an invitation for us to see within our own suffering the loving presence of Jesus.

That young man on the street corner, it would be easy to see him in a simple light. God helped me look deeper, however, and I resented him and I loved him at the same time. I could feel his search for meaning, and I was sad knowing that that search, with that attitude, will always leave him empty handed. Only the king can give meaning, especially when that king has a cross for a throne. It might be naïve, but I hope that young man was using reverse psychology; I hope he was saying one thing with the intention of getting people to realize the opposite. If the young man at the intersection was using reverse psychology, if the divine plan somehow incorporates appearing one way but being another, if the truth is hidden in this way: are you willing to be tricked into surrendering to a king on a cross?