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+

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

OUR TIME IS NOW

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.


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