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+

Monday, January 15, 2018

IT WAS ABOUT FOUR O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON

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.


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