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, June 25, 2018

A Voice is Born - The Promise of God

Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist

Saint Boniface Parish

June 24, 2018

USCCB Lectionary Readings

A young boy, a child, found himself in the presence of God. The child, realizing the immensity of the occasion asked God “Is it true that a second to you is like a million years?” And God said “yes a second to me is like a million years.” The small boy thought for a moment and he says “well then God, if that is true would it be also be true that a penny for you is like a million dollars?” God says “yes, a penny, for me, is like a million dollars.” The boy stops, ponders for a moment, gets up the courage and asks “may I have a penny?” God says, “in a second.”

God's promises sometimes take a little while. God doesn't always act right away, and in fact, from the very moments of our fall, from the very moment that sin entered the world, God had a plan - God promised us salvation. God promised us a remedy for the sin that had befallen us. It took that plan, however, quite some time to be carried out, to come to fulfillment, and many, most perhaps, began to lose faith and trust that that plan would be fulfilled. It took so long the people bagan to say: When will God ever answer us? When will God fulfill his promise for us. It has been said: slowly, and then quickly; slowly and then quickly. God slowly worked through the generations, one after the other, building up on the past so that his plan may come to fruition. But then, once the plan began to be enacted, things really began to speed up. The moment that this quickening began was the moment when the Immaculate Conception took place The Hand of God protected, at the moment of her conception, the Virgin Mary from the stain of original sin. From that moments the events of Salvation history really began to speed up. One thing led to another, and Christ entered the world. From there he died for our sins, rose again, and we are here now - continuing to celebrate that mystery.

One of the occasions during this period of heightened activity in fulfillment of God's plan was the angelic annunciation of God to Zachariah. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, we hear about in our Gospel today. He was a priest of the temple and it was Zechariah's turn, after they cast lots, to go into the Holy of Holies where only a few priests would go each year, on very special occasions, When Zachariah entered the Holy of Holies he encountered the presence of God and God told him “you will have a son, your wife Elizabeth will conceive a child, even in her old age.” Being an old man and not used to the fulfillment of God's promises, Zechariah wasn't too sure about this. He doubted. He said something like “God, I don't see how that could happen!” I think many of us could understand his reaction, being in that kind of position, wondering how God is going to do this! How in the world could that happen? But from that moment of doubt, Zachariah was unable to speak. His mouth was closed, his tongue frozen, he was unable to utter a single word. His doubt became manifest in his inability to speak.

Zechariah Entering the Holy of Holies

The inability to proclaim a word, the word, is a metaphor for the condition of Israel itself. It had been years, quite some time, since the Jewish people had heard the word of God! Many, many years had passed since they had known a prophet. Many prophets had come before. These proclaimers of the word of God were instrumental in helping the Jewish people understand who they were, and who they were called to be. Prophets like Isaiah, who we heard from in our first reading, Elijah, Elisha, Ezekiel... all important speakers for the word of God, conveying to the people the reality that they were to trust God and the Messiah will come - God’s promises will be fulfilled! But they had not heard from a prophet in ages, really since their return from the Babylonian captivity there really hadn't been a major prophets come along. They were longing for this word, they needed to hear a reminder of their hope. They hadn’t heard these reminders until John the Baptist came along. We must remember that if John the Baptist wrote a book, if his prophetic words were recorded in the same way that Elijah’s words or Isaiah's words were recorded, his proclamation, his steady response “makes straight the way of the Lord!” would have been the last book of the Old Testament. John the Baptist represents the culmination of all the prophets. He was the last, the one that would point and say “there he is, that's him! He has come, the one that you have been hoping for, for so long, he is finally here!”

Zechariah Unable to Speak

It is this reality, the reality of John the Baptist and his specific role in Salvation History - both speaking the word of God, and pointing out the Word of God its very self. This reality is manifest in his father, Zechariah’s speechlessness. The doubts that had overcome the Jewish people, had closed their hearts the way it closed Zachariah's ability to speak. That is, until he came along. The relatives and neighbors, having becomes accustomed to Zechariah’s lack of voice spoke for him saying “we are going to name them Zachariah.” Elizabeth courageously and definitely said “no! His name is John!” AT that Zachariah had the opportunity to once more display his doubt, once more to be hard headed, to say to himself “God has not allowed me to speak now for at least nine months! I'm not going to do it. I’m not going to proclaim the truth now after all of this!” This time, however, he choose trust, he choose to listen to God’s word, to God’s promise and he wrote out “his name is John!” Zechariah accepted the word of God, he lived that hope the he had been called to live, and his mouth was opened once more. The word of God was heard again, for the people of God, the word of God, was alive once more.

John the Baptist would go on to live that life, the life of the final prophet, to be an immense figure, a frightening figure. Even at his birth we hear that his neighbors and his relatives were afraid due to the events that had surrounded his birth - Zachariah, his mouth was close and then opened. It brought fear to people, but they soon began to hear his words. To hear how he was pointing out that the Messiah has finally come! One of the final, if not the final thing that he said, the final words of John the Baptist written in Sacred Scripture: “behold, the lamb of God!” There he is, after all this time, your hope has been fulfilled, the promises of God have come true! It is here! The time is here!

John the Baptist

Sisters and brothers, you don't need to be another John the Baptist. None of us really could. He's too unique a figure. Nevertheless, I think more of us probably could look a little bit more like John the Baptist, with the courage, the strength, the conviction to point out God and the Word of God alive in the world when we see him. To do so perhaps all we need is just a bit more hope that God's promises will continue to come true. You're not called to be John the Baptist, you are called to be who you are. To live the promises of God alive in your hearts, to hope that God truly does fill his promises, to know and to live the reality of the Word of God active in your life! Speak that word. Let that truth live in you! Let the birth of John the Baptist, the final Old Testament prophet, inspire you to hope that God does indeed fulfill his promises.

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