The Mission of Harvesters Wanted:

To spread the Good News of JESUS CHRIST in word and in action! As well as promoting the baptismal call of all the faithful to follow whatever vocation our God has called them to!

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:19-20

The place to find homilies and reflections given along the path of faith by Fr. Adam Carrico, a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville.

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018


Winter Sports Rosary Rally

Sacred Heart Academy

January 21, 2018

In these little reflections, I often like to focus on a particular virtue. I know, through Sports Leader, that's kind of the program, that you have a virtue and you talk about it, work with it, and all of that. The virtue that had crossed my mind for this time is the virtue of meekness. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” ~ Matthew 5:5 For many who encounter this verse of Scripture, including the woman who wrote the article that I'm getting all of this from, can read that verse of scripture and think: “That's not for me. I don't want that, I don't particularly want to be meek.” I mean, after all, you are being trained, you are being formed, to be Strong Women of Great Faith. That is exactly what we need. This world needs Strong Women of Great Faith. This world needs strong women who will understand that the world’s approach to women is not perfect, that there are many obstacles in the way, including the systemic treatment of women. Even beyond that there is the need to respond with courage, strongly and appropriately, to any kind of harassment. We indeed need strong women!

Meekness seems to suggest something different, doesn’t it? To be meek seems to be sheepish, nervous, indecisive, shy or timid and not at all strong. But if we look at the Greek word from which meekness comes from we find the word “praus” (pronounced prah-oos.) There you go, you've learned Greek! I believe, now don't quote me on it, but I believe this is where we get the English word prowess - the ability to do something and do it well, with mastery.

Something else I learned recently, Kentucky is the only state in the continental United States that doesn't have an equestrian state sport. Kentucky, of all places! There is a young woman, a 15 year old, who is going to a private school in Virginia because she is the second or third highest ranked equestrian in the United States. She would be one of you - a Valkyrie, her mom would have sent her to Sacred Heart, if we had a state team for equestrians, but we don't because the state doesn't even do that apparently! Strange, and something to work on I guess. We may not have a team, but do we have any riders? I know we've got bowlers and ballers, swimmers and cheerers. Do we have any riders though? No riders, OK. I know one thing, equestrians love their horses.

In search of horses the Greeks would go up into the mountains and they would capture these wild horses specifically looking to find the one. The one in a hundred, the one in a thousand, that one horse that could be a war horse. Many of the horses they found were not the one, they would either get them and they would be completely uncontrollable, unable to even be ridden, or they would become so, well, what we would say ‘meek’ using today’s common understanding of the word, that they weren't fit for war, these would become work horses. But those who had praus, those who had been, in their eyes, meeked, they were the ones who became war horses. We are talking about animals who were able, with a slight bend of the riders foot, a slight tap of the heel, to stop in mid motion and do any number of maneuvers. This is all with battle raging all around them, with horrifying sights and sounds, with terror all around them, they would be able to sense their rider’s needs and be able to respond appropriately. We must also keep in mind that this was all without reins - the soldier would be holding their weapon, and I don’t believe they had stirrups either, the part for the riders foot, they would have held onto the horse with just their legs tightly around the animal. This ability to respond to the slightest command of the rider, that is what it meant to be meek. It had nothing to do with letting go of one's strength. It was not becoming childish, weak or timid. It was about becoming a weapon, a weapon in the hands of a skilled warrior! These horses were worth - everything. Their riders would want to protect them, with everything that they had. They would not have just used them, they would love them, they depended on them for their own safety, and the ability to defend their homeland and their people. These were meek horses.

We are called to be meek, to be weapons in the hands of an Almighty GOD, weapons for the kingdom of peace, for a kingdom of justice, to be that which GOD uses to promote GOD's kingdom. That is what true strength is. It is not denying what you are capable of. To be meek is to know exactly what you are capable of. You are warhorses, you are called on to know that you are a Strong Woman of Great Faith but to also be able to respond to the slightest hint of GOD's call in your life. To be able to sense GOD's need for you today and everyday. In our Gospel today at Mass we hear of the calling of Andrew, James, John, and Simon Peter. They said yes to the LORD when he called them. They said yes and they went. They abandoned everything. You, as Strong Women of Great Faith, are called to that same meekness. Called to respond to the LORD's calling in your life because GOD has a plan for each and every one of you. A call to better the lives of others, to be strong and not weak, to be a marvelous weapon in the hands of our great GOD. It occurs to me that this is exactly the same kind of qualities that you all need to be successful in your sport. To be able to respond to your teammates, to be able to respond to conditions, to be able to respond to the cues of those who have been there before, who know what they're doing. It amazes me, what you all do. The little ways that you're able to communicate with one another. Learn from that. Learn from your ability to listen to your coaches, to your captains, to your teammates, and apply that knowledge to your spiritual life as well. I believe GOD is talking to you, talking to you just as much as your teammates are. All we have to do is listen, listen with meekness, meekness of heart.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


Third Sunday in Ordinary

Saint Boniface Parish

January 21, 2018

Readings: Third Sunday in Ordinary, Year B

Certain peculiarities about the weather have fascinated me for quite some time. For example, to fry an egg on the asphalt in the middle of summer is quite amazing. That image, I hope, gives you something a look forward to, given the cold that we have recently experienced! The season will change, we can always count on that. When it comes to the cold though there's something that kind of terrified me as a child. The weatherman would sometimes say something like: ‘you can only go outside with exposed skin for x number of minutes before frostbite will begin to set in.’ Minutes, and you will start to lose fingers and toes and all kinds of things that are just terrifying! It comes down to time. You have so much time, before loss will be experienced if appropriate action isn’t taken. 

This time sensitive reality is what crossed my mind when I saw a video that was posted recently of an incident that took place on the 11th of January, of this year, in Baltimore. In Baltimore there are a number of hospitals, no doubt, but at a particular hospital and a man named Imamu Baraka was walking down the street and began to record on his phone a group of security officers taking a woman from the hospital, to the bus stop. In and of itself this would not be particularly noteworthy, except for the fact that this woman was only wearing hospital gown, it was a night, and it was only about 30 degrees. I would imagine she only had a certain amount of time before she would herself began to experience the devastating effects of frostbite. This woman wasn't quite capable of caring for herself either. An African-American woman, not that that particularly matters, but to paint the picture for you; she was about middle aged, maybe a little older, and pretty obviously not mentally sound. She was obviously confused. She probably wouldn't have know what to do when the bus arrived anyway. What might have been the outcome if this man wasn’t there?

Now, the hospital could have easily had a plan, maybe she would have been safe. Maybe. It seems to me that an institution that vows, through the Hippocratic Oath, to do no harm, was certainly causing harm here. Now we might say that it wasn't the doctors, or the nurses doing this, it was the security guards. Well I doubt the security guards were acting on their own. Of all the people who could have acted it came down to this man, a stranger, walking down the street. He witnessed this happen, he asked the woman ‘are you OK’ and he called 911. Somewhat ironically it is not certain if the ambulance that came to get her took her right back around the corner to the hospital from which she had come.

All of this is to say for this man, his time had come, his moment to act was now. This woman who had been left abandoned by an institution that was meant to help her was leaving her for a bus. You know how the buses have that diamond Safe Place signs on them. Apparently the bus was a safer place for her than the hospital. Just walking along he knew in his heart that it was his time, and he acted on it. There is a psychological effect that can take place among people, it's called the bystander effect, and it is especially dangerous when there is a group of people gathered around. The group can kind of mitigate responsibility. It's called the bystander effect because essentially you're counting on the other bystanders to do something. You may think to yourself: 
Well, I'm not good enough, I don't have the skills, surely someone else here has the skills to better see to this person's needs than I do, I don't have to worry about it. 
Perhaps, instead of thinking yourself not good enough, you could think of yourself as being too good:
I don't have time for this. I shouldn't be the one responsible for having to deal with this. I've got better things to do with my life. So I’ll go on my way.
This man, however, saw past all of that and knew that it was his time to act. In a similar way, I was driving down the road about a week ago and there was an accident. A lady had run off the road and hit a telephone pole. As I was driving by I saw her coming back up from having been hunched over the airbag, and so I knew that she was at least conscious, but I didn't know much other than that. I saw a vehicle turn into the driveway, the next turn down from the accident and I told myself: ‘well surely that person is going to help her.’ I didn't stop. It has bothered me ever since. We have moments in our lives when we are called to act, and in a specific way, as Christians, we are called to act as Christ for others. We can, if we are courageous, if we are willing, if we are able, we say yes to that call when it comes. Not if it comes, but when it comes.

Jonah, in a similar way, had been called to act as Christ even before Christ had manifest himself. He was called once, and perhaps he thought himself not good enough: ‘surely I can't be the one that God is calling to save the people of Nineveh, I can't do that. I'm not good enough.’ Or I think probably more likely he thought something more like: ‘Me? You want me to go and save THOSE people! No, I’m not going to do that, I'm going to runaway!’ Well, God is rather persistent, God sent a whale, or really Scripture tells us a large fish, to swallow Jonah up and three days later plop him out on the seashore. God again asked Jonah: ‘Jonah, go to Nineveh, now is your time. It's time to step up.’ This time Jonah did go, he went to Nineveh; and a foreigner, who may not have been speaking their language, was telling Nineveh: ‘Now is your time! Forty days more and Nineveh will be destroyed!’ Just a day into his journey the people of Nineveh accepted his call, they heard that their time was now, and they repented. They said yes to God's call in their lives. They saw, they heard, they knew that it was their time to act. 

Jonah and 'the whale'

Paul, in his writings, is telling us that the world’s time is coming to an end. We don't know when, we don't know how, we don't know where, but we know that the world's time is limited! We know that everything outside of the world is infinite, unlimited. Others places in Sacred Scripture Paul talks about being in the world, but not of the world. So while we recognize that this world's time is coming to an end, we are still called to act in it. We are called to be Christ in it. 

Of course there is our Gospel for today. Time, it seems, just kind of runs throughout today's Scripture. In our Gospel we see Christ walking along the shore of Galilee. Simon, he say, it’s your time, John your time, Andrew your time, James your time! They heard the call of Christ, and they acted. Now, we don't know whether or not this was exactly the first time they met Christ. In some ways I would imagine that they kind of grew up with him. Either way, he said follow me, and follow me now. He didn't order them in such a way, he invited them, but he essentially said, it's time, we're going. And they followed. They heard, they saw, they felt, they encountered their time to go, and they said yes. They said yes, when others could have said no, they could have said no. 

Jesus calling the First Apostles

I want each of you, for a moment, to think of a phrase that you have heard time and time again. You know it is true but you’ve heard it so often that it has lost a bit of its impact - its punch. You’ve heard it said so often that it's almost like nails on a chalkboard. You know it has truth and you know it still, it rings in your head a little bit. For me I think of a phrase that a deacon would use time and time again in almost every homily he delivered. He would say ‘God proposes, not imposes.’ God pro-poses not im-pose. Now, you all haven't heard it before, I suspect, so I'm going to use it once with you. God proposes, God invites, God doesn't insist, God gives us the opportunity to say yes to his call in our lives. He is persistent, God is always persistent, calling us time, and time again. And sisters and brothers, make no mistake, our Gospel, our readings for today point towards the reality that this is our time. I don't know for what exactly, you're going to have to do some of the work too! I can't explain all of it to you, but each of us is being called by Christ to live the life of discipleship, to hear his call, to follow him. Maybe it's a simple call, maybe a big call, I don't necessarily know if any of us are called to go to Nineveh, but near, or far, we will go where we are called! And the time is now,the time is now. We can say yes to the God who proposes a new way of life. We can say yes to God who proposes a new freedom, proposes a new reality. That God invites us, invites us time and time again. We can, if we pray for the courage, say yes when we come upon our moment. When we know this, this is me, nobody else is going to do it, I'm going to have to do it. I pray, we pray, that we all have the courage to say yes when we're needed by God to fill whatever role it is that God desires for us to fill.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Second Sunday in Ordinary

Saint Patrick Parish

January 13-14, 2018

Link to USCCB Lectionary Readings

Holy Scripture is absolutely full of very memorable lines. Each of us, if we have a little bit of time to think, I would imagine could kind of come up with a list of - if not exact lines at least scenes from Sacred Scripture that speak particularly to us. I had an opportunity to ask Deacon Scott what his favorite scripture verse is before Mass this morning. It kind of caught him off guard a little bit but he thought a little and he said a line from 1 Peter that says if you teach, teach well, if you preach, preach well, but do so for the greater glory of God. Now, I'm not going to put Father Oz on the spot, because I didn't get a chance to ask him, but I'm certain that he could come up with some lines as well. Of the many memorable lines we might think of, we heard one today, John the Baptist saying “Behold the Lamb of God.” Others might be “This is my body.” “This is my blood.” “God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son.” “Jesus wept.” The shortest verse in the Bible, when Jesus was there with Mary at the tomb of Lazarus her brother. My personal favorite - a line that comes shortly thereafter, as Lazarus is coming out of the tomb: “Unbind him and set him free.” Each of us, in our own way, could surely find something that speaks to us in a particular way. 

The Gospel of Saint John

But today we have something different. A little bit of a different sort of line in Scripture, one that few I would imagine would point to directly and say “that's the line that speaks to me!” That line is: “it was about four o'clock in the afternoon.” Why does it matter? Why in the world was this even included? In some ways this line speaks to the truth of Scripture - just by the mere fact that it's there. If the writer of The Gospel of John was intent on fooling people, tricking people into believing something that he himself did not believe, why would he have added such an insignificant line? Why wouldn't he have spent time writing that? “It was about four o'clock in the afternoon” doesn’t seem, like the kind of line one would add if they were being deceptive. What this line does for us is it points to exactly how meaningful this experience was for not only Andrew, but also for John - the other disciple that we assume was with Andrew. 

John the Baptist "Behold, the Lamb of God!"

Let’s set up the scene. John and Andrew, disciples of John the Baptist before they became disciples of Jesus Christ, had been with John for some time now. They had become accustomed to the odd way that the Baptist spoke - often hinting at the one who was to come. This day was different, John the Baptist, kind of out of nowhere says “behold, the lamb of God!” Look here he is! This is the one I've been talking about! They've been with John the Baptist for a while. They've gotten used to his strange style and kind of just blurting out things every now and then, but this though, this was different, this was present, this was there. The Lamb of God is here, this one, this one is the one I've been telling you about. And so they went after him,the one John had pointed out. They went after him and Jesus turns and says “what are you looking for” - what do you want? And they said “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Now, if you ask me, this is another one of those awkward lines that might not get too much attention. But isn't that the kind of thing that someone would say if they're really looking to get to know someone? Think of a new best friend perhaps, or in another situation a romantic interest. Where are you staying? Tell me something about you? Let me get to know you a little bit. Open up. I want to know you. And so he did. He said follow me. And they did. They went and spent some time in his home in Capernaum. They spent some time together. They sat in the presence of God-made-man. And if we can only imagine what that must have been like! To have his eyes look into their eyes, to have those words enter their ears, to be in the presence of the one that they had been waiting for! They had followed John the Baptist for a while. John said he is coming, then pointed him out, and there he was! The time had finally arrived. They were there in God's presence. It made such an impact on them that they remembered awkward kind of details. It was about 4 in the afternoon. 

"Rabbi, where are you staying?"
"Come and see."

Many of us, all of us, in one way or another. No matter how old or young we are have moments like this in our lives. For many of us, especially those of us 15 years or older, 9/11 is certainly one of those incidences. For those who are a little bit older than that, the Challenger explosion. Many can point and say this is exactly where I was, what I was doing, what time of day it was, how it felt... All of us can point back and say that's about when it happened. We have these large events that affect many of us, natural disasters things like that, maybe even the death of a celebrity or a politician. Tomorrow we remember Martin Luther King Jr. Those of an older generation can probably tell you exactly where they were when they learned that he had been assassinated. Moments like this etched their way into our being and we can't shake them, as much as we may want to. 

These events, they happen to us in personal ways as well, both joyful and sad. For instance, I'm sure that most mothers here could tell you exactly when their child was born. Details like that etch themselves into our hearts. Mothers and the birth of their children, the moment when family members pass, gathered together in their hospital room. I certainly will never forget many of the details when I got the phone call from my father letting me know that they had found my brother and that he was dead. These moments, these moments find their way into our hearts - and they stay. That's exactly what John and Andrew are describing. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. It meant the world to them. In many ways they didn't know how to describe it, it was just so powerful. Isn’t it really the small details that stick anyways? When they leave, they leave forever changes, they can't stay the same. They encountered a presence. They sat in the presence of the Divine. Andrew goes and tells his brother Simon, and Simon agrees, perhaps reluctantly, to go with him. They go to the house that Jesus is staying in and what's the first thing that Jesus says when he sees Simon? He gives him a new name... and the crazy thing is Simon still stayed! He accepted the name Peter because that moment must have meant something to him. I don't know about you but if I meet somebody new for the first time and he says Adam from now on your name is going to be Edward I’m gonna be like alright... nice to meet you... I'll see you later. But Peter accepted that name, this encounter, it changed his life. It changed who he was. It changed everything about him. It was a momentous occasion. It all started at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Life and Death

Returning to motherhood for a moment, as an aside, I want to point to our first reading. Those many moments when a child wakes up their parent at night. That's the vision I get when Samuel keeps coming to Eli. You called me and he responded like no no I didn't call you. Maybe perhaps the next time your children wake you up in the middle of the night you can say the Lord is calling you say Speak Lord your servant is listening. Go back to bed. Go back to bed. Point is Eli is sacrificing. He has been called, he has encountered something that has changed his life, and he is willing to have this other kid wake him up numerous times throughout the night. He is willing to sacrifice, his life is different, he is willing to open up and to be present to others. And in the same way we're called to have a similar encounter with Jesus Christ. An encounter that changes us, that calls us to sacrifice, that calls us to a new way of life. 

Many of our Protestant brothers and sisters they will speak of the moment when they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Oftentimes they will look at us and say we don't really have that. When they say: what moment was that for you? My response is that we as Catholics don't just have that one moment, that one experience. Now this is not to discount the very powerful moments in prayer that we might have, not to discount moments of revelation when encountering Sacred Scripture, or sitting alone before Mass praying. Those are important. But as Catholics we encounter God communally as well. We call these communal encounters Sacraments. There's one sacrament in particular, this is going to be a trick question. One sacrament in particular where we get to say ‘this is the moment when I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior’ a moment to accept an adult faith if you will, a faith where adults live out their faith in a personal manner and say ‘this, this is the one who I live for. Many of us I would imagine, would assume that I'm talking about Confirmation, and in some ways that may be true, but not quite. Some, especially those who are going through RCIA, who were baptized later in life, they may say Baptism, and again, sort of right, but not quite there. 

Saint Therese's Camp - Alaska

What I am talking about is the Eucharist - that moment when you come forward and the minister presents to you the body of Christ, and you say amen, you say yes - this is my God! It is an opportunity that we have, not just once, not a moment that we can go back to and say oh this second on this day 20, 30 years ago, rather it is a moment that we have every week, every day if you so choose. A moment, a routine that is powerful. A moment to look at Christ, and see Christ gazing back at you, and say yes this is a moment, this is a moment that will change my life, this is a moment where I have encountered God, and God has called me to a new way of life! Simon Peter, John, Andrew, they all left their lives from before, they didn't hold on to what they had in the past. They were new people! One even had a new name! They were different. They had encountered something that would not allow them to stay the same and they didn't stay the same - they followed him. If anything speaks to the truth of the Gospel it is that: that these ordinary men, these fishermen left everything because they encountered... encountered something profound. They encountered him. Today encounter him in the Eucharist, and for the next couple of days, for the next week look back and say ‘that was my moment.’ Until you meet him again in the Eucharist, until you meet him again in your brother and sister, and you will encounter him again, you encounter him today. Open your hearts to that. Allow that presence to call you to a new way of life.