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+

Sunday, July 22, 2018

INCONVENIENCED BY THE SHEPHERD’S GAZE

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary

Saint Boniface Parish

July 22, 2018

USCCB Lectionary Readings




To begin, I want you to imagine your second favorite place to be. Saint Boniface is of course your first, so imagine your second favorite place to go. Perhaps a place you want to go, perhaps the place you like to go most often. Just imagine your second favorite place to visit - I'll get back to it I promise. At Saint Patrick's, much like at Saint Boniface, our parking lot has been neglected for some time. Maybe not quite as bad as our parking lot here, but still it had gotten pretty tore up over the years, and it was time to do some work on it. Over the past week they have been doing all the things that they need do to get the parking lot ready, and then to redo the parking lot. Looking out the window, seeing them working, watching these men who labor and do this kind of work for a living - watching them do what they do I’ve noticed that here is an interesting situation that I have witnessed on several occasions. The men would be just standing around, maybe one or two, maybe a larger group, and they would just be looking - looking at the parking lot. Just standing there looking, and they might point at a particular spot, and do some hand gestures, and then they would walk around, and then look at it again. Now some of this may be them just engaging in small talk, perhaps some of it, but I imagine, to some extent, this behavior is part of their job. They were doing their job. They are experts at what they do, after having done who knows how many parking lots, they are experts of the various small subtle ways in which the lands can affect the parking lot. Saint Patrick's, I don't know if you've ever been there, but we are set up on a pretty big hill and this hill has an obvious effect on the parking lot. So, as I watched them pointing up and down the parking lot I got to thinking ‘what is it that they are looking for?’ 


Part of the situation at St. Patrick's is that there is a hidden spring - a source of water that comes up almost continuously, and this spring has, over the years, affected the parking lot in such a way that it is a significant source of erosion on the parking lot. So much so that even in the driest times there has been water that would pool in a certain area and moss had even begun to grow there. This damage to the parking lot was one of several things that they had to work. I believe, having watched them, part of what they were standing around doing was recognizing that even though the water was coming up over here, the trouble was actually way over here. The water was coming up in a different location, and then coming down and coming out in this other area. I would have never guessed this to be the situation. I would have just pointed at the wet spot and said ‘there, there's a spring under that asphalt right there - we need to do something about it, it's damaging the parking lot.’ These laborers, being experts in how a parking lot can behave, knew that the problem was way over here. 


Back to your second favorite place to visit. Imagine driving up and the parking lot is under construction! You arrive there and there's a whole big mess! How inconvenient that is. How inconvenient it is to show up at a place that you want to be, a place where you enjoy being, only to suffer the inconvenience of the parking lot under construction. We at Saint Patrick's have been inconvenienced by all this work, in a small way the clergy have been particularly inconvenienced. We live on one side of the parking lot, and we're pretty used to just walking across the parking lot to get to work, to get to our place of prayer, to get to our office, all the above. How inconvenient this whole big mess is! All this construction, especially when it seems like such a little problem like a underground spring over here - why this whole big mess? Inconvenient, it's inconvenient to have all of this happen. Point of fact, in the coming weeks, and the coming months, we at Saint Boniface will be inconvenienced by the renovation of our parking lot. Maybe this will help to prepare you a little.


Now you may be asking ‘Father, what in the world are you talking about?’ Those men, those who construct parking lots for a living, they see different. They see a parking lot differently than you or I. Jesus Christ, God born in the flesh, in our Gospel today, he sees the crowds, he sees them, and his heart is moved with pity for them ‘for they are like sheep without a shepherd.’ He sees them, the infinite God, the all loving, all powerful, omnipresent God sees this crowd and he is moved with pity for them. His heart is moved. He sees them for who they truly are, and for who they could be, who they are called be. Christ does not see them the way we would see them. The way that he sees them, it can be inconvenient at times. We might ask ourselves: ‘God, what are you doing in my life? The problem is over here, it's a simple fix Jesus! Why don't you just deal with this little problem over here?’ Jesus, with the eyes of an expert, an expert that knows the human heart better than any of us ever can, he knows that the problem is not over here, it is over there, we just have no idea. We don't know it because we're not accustomed to see it that way. Christ is the Good Shepherd, the shepherd who knows us, who sees us, and who loves us. 


Our first reading today warns us of bad shepherds, shepherds who do  not shepherd the people well, that don't lead the people well. There are plenty of people out there who are going to want to say ‘I can fix that, that's easy, I can do that. In fact, it will only cost half as much as that other guy, and I will finish it really quickly. A breeze really, no problem at all, we'll just fix that over there.’ Sisters and brothers don't be fools. The life of discipleship is not typically an easy life. In the life of discipleship, it's not typically that problem there, but rather a problem way over here that will require a lot more painful and disruptive work than we might first imagine. It can be inconvenient to live the life of discipleship. It can be inconvenient to let Christ, dare I say, tear up our hearts. Let Christ in to get to the problem that's over here. We can, together open our hearts to him. Let the good shepherd work on us, in us, and through us. Let him work to bring our hearts to a happier, and a more peaceful reality. Christ Jesus sees us as we are, as we could be, and his heart is moved with pity for us. Allow that inconvenient shepherd to shepherd your heart today.



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