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, July 9, 2018

FAMILIARITY ~ A FICKLE DESIRE

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary

Saint Boniface Parish

July 8, 2018



There are quite a few strange ideas that came out in the 1970s. Do you agree? Now don’t get me wrong the 1980s weren’t without their own faults. I know there are some pretty strange things that came out of the 80s - I am not the least of them! There is an idea, that originated in the 70s and it has repeated itself since. This idea probably had a lot to do with the growth in population, and there was indeed a rather large growth. The Baby Boomer generation had come in the 50s and 60s and so the population of the 1970s did look drastically larger than it did decades before. The idea I am speaking of is that there were more people alive then, at that time, than had ever lived before. It is obvious that the current population was the largest ever, but the idea help that the current population was larger than the total number of people who had previously lived - in its entirety. So, the number of people alive at that time was more than everyone else had lived before. If we really think about it, the idea is preposterous. I first heard this idea several years ago, and they were seriously making the claim that the current population was that proportionately massive. As soon as I could, I Googled this assertion and that is when I read about how it was first proposed in the 1970s and was repeated then on. From there I found an estimate of the world's population in its entirety. So currently there are about 7-8 billion people alive in the world. How many people do you think have ever lived? How many members of our species? How many individuals have lived on this earth: lived, laughed, cried, loved and died? The answer: a hundred and eight billion people - 108 billion people! There is a little bit of truth to what this idea was saying - there was, and is, a sizable percentage of the world's population alive at the time – seven or eight billion out of 108 is still a sizable percentage, but it's not nearly as many as had ever lived before. A hundred and eight billion people, that is a lot of people! We can hardly even begin to comprehend the number of people alive currently but a hundred and eight billion souls.


The cynical part of me thinks that this idea, that there are more people alive currently than have ever lived, has something to do with the idea that our experience as individual humans is so completely unique that no one else could really understand what we have experienced in our life. But if we begin to imagine a hundred and eight billion people, does that change that perspective? Don't get me wrong, your experience of your lives, my experience of my life, it is unique - but it is hardly unobtainable. If we put our life in the perspective of a hundred and eight billion lives, your experience is not – unimaginable, it is not that very different from the life of some other human beings who has lived in the past. When we recognize that so many others have had similar experiences as we have had we can see that there really is more that unites us than sets us apart.


Throughout the lives of each one, each one of those 108 million individuals, has had, at their very core - while they were alive, a singular desire. If you begin to strip away the desires for material goods, as well as our sinful inclinations, if you remove all of that, if we begin to get down to the core of what it is that the human heart desires - I believe what we will find is the desire to be known. That is, the desire to be understood, to have someone understand our story, to get who we are, why we feel how we feel, how it is that we have come to be where we are at. We can, if we aren’t careful, fall into the trap of thinking that our story is so unique that no one could understand it, try as they might. We can fall for that trap, or we can see in the vast multitude of other lived experience and recognize that our story, while in a sense is unique, but is also attainable, understandable to another human person. Who we are is understandable, to a degree, by someone else.


That desire to be known, the desire to be understood, is ultimately only capable of being fulfilled by one person: God-made-man - Jesus Christ himself. Infinite knowledge, infinite understanding, infinite love – all in all packed into one individual person. Perfectly God and perfectly human, together, right there - the ability to understand everything about us. The ability to penetrate the innermost places of our hearts to understand us for our glory, our achievements, but also for those dark places that we rather not recognize. One person, God-made-man able to fulfill that desire in each one of our hearts. We see, in our Gospel today, those who grew up with him. Those who laughed, cried, who played in the streets of Nazareth with him - they knew him – just as any of us know those we grew up with, they walked with him, they went to synagogue with him, they learned with, laughed and cried with him, lay lived beside knowledge itself, and they didn’t recognize him for who he was. They knew him, that handful of people in the wide vastness of the human population, they lived with him in Nazareth. These people had the experience of knowing the answer to our innermost desire, at least they thought they knew him, they thought they understood him, and they rejected. They said, ‘surely you're not who you say you are, surely you're not the answer that we've been looking for.’ Right there in front of them, they had known him since his miraculous birth. Perhaps there were rumors concerning Joseph and Mary, perhaps a little uncertainty as to where he came from, who he was. For the most part, however, they thought they had him figured out - the answer to each of our desires.


We are invited to encounter that same mystery. Not walking alongside him, in the same way, but encountering him all the same, that God-made-man, the one who still comes to us time and time again in the Eucharist. Reveals himself time and again on this altar. We can, unfortunately, become a little too familiar with what we do here. It has been said ‘why should I go to Sunday Mass, I've done that before! It's not going to be anything new, I'm not going to be surprised by it. It's not going to be earth shattering! The priest may say a few words and I will probably forget it as soon as we get to the parking lot!' I know we've done it all before. It's all familiar, the same thing pretty much every Sunday - and yet it's amazing, what we do here, what we encounter here is amazing! We have an encounter with Jesus Christ, the answer to that desire that lives deep in each of us. Let us not become too familiar with that. This is the irony of the desire of being known – the One who can know us perfectly, we quickly become so familiar with that it doesn't seem to really matter. There's a danger there, the danger of our hearts being made open and vulnerable, our hearts remaining opened to that presence. It may seem to be nothing special here, no reason for you or me to allow that presence into those hidden areas of our heart. No reason to open oneself up to that reality. That familiarity can have the same effect on you as it did on those handful of people back in Nazareth two millennia ago, don’t let it. They became too familiar with him, at least they though they knew him. Let us encounter the answer to our desire today: God-made-man, fully human, fully God, fully desiring to fulfill the desire of your heart.



Wednesday, July 4, 2018

JUST HAVE FAITH, IN THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Saint Patrick Parish

June 30 - July 1, 2018


USCCB Lectionary Readings




Jesus can be pretty bossy can't he! It seems like he's always telling somebody what to do! I think of four occasions in today's Gospel where he does something in that manner. He says, he demands really, ‘how was it that touched me, tell me, who was it?’ He tells the synagogue official ‘be not afraid, just have faith.’ He tells all those who were ridiculing him to get out, saying ‘Go, get out of here!’ And finally he tells that little girl, the little girl who was thought dead, to get up and get something to eat.’ Jesus often has these little commands that he gives those who are around him. I would imagine, perhaps, if I asked, maybe some would stand on their head, but you know, I bet there's still some who probably wouldn’t even wiggle their toes, even if I asked them to. Now, be honest, some of you just wiggled your toes. All that being said how about you humor me for just a moment. Take two fingers and find your pulse. Do you feel that? Are a single one of you making that happen? Are you making that heart beat? The cynical among us may say ‘well Father, some have a pacemaker’ or ‘I have a pacemaker, it's doing it.’ No, the pacemaker isn’t making the heart beat, it is assisting. We can do exercises to make our hearts beat faster; through prayer and meditation, quietness, we can slow our heart beat down. But not a single one of us can make our heart beat.


Your heart beat, my sisters and brothers, is a lot like faith. It's something that we receive. It is something that helps us, or actually allows us, to live. Not a single one of us can cause faith to take effect in our lives. A little teaching moment - there are three theological virtues. These three virtues are the highest of all virtues, and they all come from God. They are: Faith, Hope and Love, and each one of those begin with God, and they end with God. They come from God and they point to God, and none of us can do any of these, as much as we may try, without God first providing them. God, God’s self can hope, and God certainly loves, but God can't really have faith, because God is faith. God is the source of faith. God is that which we have faith in, God cannot really have faith in himself, God just is faith.


A side note, for just a moment - I worry that many of us, when we read Sacred Scripture, when we think of these people 2000 or more years ago, we often get into a somewhat self-righteous thinking that say that we are so much better than they were. Sure, our technology is better, our medical science has improved, but really are we better? We may think “oh those foolish people, they were tricked into believing that they were healed, or that Christ had these powers!” Certainly, others in our world will make such statements, and act like those ‘silly backwards people’ really are that far behind us. I think, however, if we just turn on the news, or look around for a moment, we recognize that we may have advanced in some ways but ultimately we are the same people, in need of the same hope, the same love, the same faith in Christ that he himself gives us. 

 "If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured."

When we look at these two occasions in which Christ is at work in his healing ministry we see Christ healing the woman with a hemorrhage for 12 years - she has been bleeding, she's been tormented by doctors who have tried to help her. And then we see this little girl who has passed and Christ raises from the dead. We can, as modern sophisticated people, see these interactions and think ‘well, they just thought that they were healed, but something else must have happened.’ Or, with the eyes of true Faith, we can believe that Christ actually did heal those people. We can, in this reality of faith’s relationship with our modern senses, find ourselves a little conflicted, especially when it comes to Christ's command to have faith. Be not afraid, just have faith. But how is it that we just have faith? Especially considering that we, on our own, can’t make faith happen. How do we live out this command, especially in times of difficulty - after all Christ is commanding this to a man who's been told that his daughter has just died. How do we, in times of difficulty, times of stress, in times of hardship, have faith, just have faith. Is it really that simple? 

"Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?"
www.LumoProject.com

If we look at Christ’s reaction to those who ridicule him, we get a little bit more evidence as to how that happens, how one just has faith. What is it that Christ orders those who ridicule him. He says “Get out! Go. You can't be here right now!” But before any of you stand up and walk out, don’t worry just yet. I hardly believe that this was the definitive moment in their lives of faith. Some of them, I have little doubt, where they are at Christ’s entry into Jerusalem “hosanna, hosanna in the highest!” And then some of them, there at the crucifixion “crucify him, crucify him!” And then some, maybe even the same bunch, were killed later on, killed for standing up and professing their faith in Christ Jesus. This isn't necessarily the definitive moment in their lives, although it could have been. And that's alright. Christ offers faith time and again. We see how Christ is surrounded through his ministry with both those who have faith, and those who seem to be there simply to test him, to question him, and to to try and trick him. Christ is typically comfortable being surrounded by a crowd of imperfect faith, but in this moment, just as in other crucial moments throughout Sacred Scripture, he desires to be with those who have faith. Those who ridicule him are looking at faith itself. They ridicule him for his assertion that this little girl is going to be OK. This girl is sleeping, she is going to be alright. They ridicule him, they mock him, they are looking at faith itself and they have the opposite reaction - they make fun of him. And so he tells them, get out! They are receiving, but not accepting the faith that Jesus is offering them. So, I ask again, how are we to just have faith? Be in the presence of Christ. They are there, they are there in that crowd, pushing against them - everyone all jammed together, and that woman reaches out, in the presence of Christ, just to take a hold of him for a moment. The little girl who's asleep, having died in her bed, he reaches out to her and lifts her up there in the presence of Christ, in the presence of faith itself. 


We gather together, time and again, Sunday after Sunday, to do just that, to be in the presence of Christ. The Body of Christ gathered here among you, the people of God, as well as the body of Christ consecrated on that altar. We are here to be in God's presence, to receive from faith itself that great gift of faith, that gift that enables us to somehow make it through some of life's darkest moments, some of life's biggest challenges. One more thing, that woman who had her bleeding stopped, having finally found healing after 12 years, that little girl who was raised from the dead, life wasn't all sunshine and roses for either of them after that day. They are no longer here amongst the living. They went on to live their life, to experience pain, and difficulty; they went on to die, just like everyone else. Nevertheless, they had an experience of Christ, they experienced being in the presence of faith itself. In that way each of us is invited, invited this day, and everyday, to enter into that great mystery of faith.