2017 Homilies (Written)

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Mark 1: 1-8 (As built, 12-10-17; Amite 284)

“Simple” (keep it simple….)
…It’s the 1980’s…. and his name is John… he is a New York Boy… through and through…. Greenwich village … he is one of two kids…he has a sister… and johns mom and dad… are both actors…. Which was a Blessing and a Curse… the Blessing… well, by the time he was about 5 John was already in two movies…. The Pound, and the Greasers Palace…. The down side or the curse… his dad was addicted to drugs and so became John…. About the age of 8…. The family broke apart not long after and John lived with his dad… in California… he attended Santa Monica HS… didn’t finish but attended… he tried his hand at different things… but acting was his thing…. He had a bit part on SNL…. But his reviews were …. Well, not good! According to one critic… stated… that ‘everything good about SNL… you will find none of it in John’! Mel Gibson tried to help John by casting him in Air America… and it helped for John took on several other roles in movies… like, Pick up Artist, Soap Dish… he even did a series on tv called, Allie McBeal… John even made an album, which was pretty good… called the Futurist… but then came a point in time when John decided… you know, its really SIMPLE… its either the drugs or me… I must choose between one or the other… its that SIMPLE!!! To this date, John is doing well…he has been sober for about 10 years…he did a phenomenal job playing Charlie Chaplain in Chaplain… he has been in the movies, such as… the Avengers, Capt America, Iron Man… he was also in the movie called US Marshalls with Tommy Lee Jones… and also did a few movies called Sherlock Holmes…yes you know John, as Robert john Downey, Jr.! All because he kept it …. SIMPLE!!!
THE GOSPEL TODAY IS JUST ABOUT THAT…. SIMPLICITY!!! John the Baptist keeps things… SIMPLE… First and Foremost… he has only one job, proclaim the coming of CHRIST… its that Simple! 
Now remember, if you are a first century Jew… you know the Gospel of Mark… Mark is all about ‘the facts’…. He doesn’t speak to the infancy narratives like Matthew and Luke… Mark states over 40 times the word immediately, identifying Christ getting out in HIS public ministry and making things happen…. And Mark was a follower of Peter… furthermore… when mark remarks about the river Jordan… this is significant to a first century jew… for as a jew, they knew that the river Jordan… was where his forefathers crossed from the desert/wilderness to the promise land… on dry land… hence the waters parted as the tabernacle and people passed through… so to mention the river Jordan that the Messiah was baptized there… would ring a loud bell with them!!
John the Baptist… keeps his life SIMPLE…. He has only one outfit… that’s it… he doesn’t need to shop or pick out different attires… he wears Camel hair, period! He does Not have to worry about planting, watering, growing produce…he eats… whatever comes his way… Literally, honey, locust, etc….he does not worry about his appearance… his hair may be unkempt… but he keeps it SIMPLE! You see, John is a Nazarite… which means, that he has very strict vows… very! One, he cannot only anything, only the clothes on his back… he cannot ever shave… his hairs grows and goes…as it pleases… he cannot plow ground, or raise crops…he can only eat what nature provides… no shoes… he cannot eat grapes, take a drink or eat anything attached to a vine…. JOHN THE BAPTIST HAS ONE MISSION… PREACH ABOUT CHRIST!!! Its that SIMPLE!!! (**** do you remember the people approaching John…. What were they doing… acknowledging their sins… ‘confessing their sins’, to a man…. The act of confession!)
THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE, people’s lives have either been SIMPLE…or complicated (NOT)… take for example, the Wise Men…they have one goal, to see the Christ child…period…it is that SIMPLE!!! They may to travel a year-year & a half, over 1000 miles…but they don’t care…all they care about is seeing the Christ child. Tradition holds that the oldest WiseMen died shortly after seeing the Christ child….but he obtained his goal…worshiping Jesus, the Savior of the World. What about John the Baptist, he has one goal…and one goal only….and it is SIMPLY to proclaim the coming of Christ…and he is soo excited about doing this…that he begins to leap in the womb…or what about Joseph, he has a SIMPLISTIC goal as well…. TO PROTECT, AND NOT TOUCH… that’s it!!! Just like Aaron was told by Moses, protect the tabernacle and do not…DO NOT TOUCH, LESS YOU DIE…He is too protect the Blessed Mother and Child, do not touch Her, and provide for them….Tradition holds that he is so caught up in his simplistic goal… that he did not even want to hold the Christ child…Mary asked that he do so at the birth of Christ in the cave in Bethlehem…. And last but not least, what about Mary… if there is ever anyone who a single, yet SIMPLE goal…that was to be the TABERNACLE!!! At the age of 4 she enters the temple, at 14 she is visited by an angel…given the news…and Her response…. ‘Be it done to me according to thy will’ !!! And shortly thereafter she is bethroved to Joseph… even when She brought Jesus to the temple, albeit 8 days old, the High Priest makes the statement, that a sword will pierce Her Heart…she does not sway from her goal… She is that FOCUSED, FOR IT WAS THAT SIMPLE… her job was to be his mother and always point to him… hence the wedding of cana… do whatever he tells you….
The question for you and I…. 2000 years later here you and sit… weeks before Christmas… is your life SIMPLE…OR … COMPLICATED? LETS SEE…. When you walk into Wal-Mart, especially now… it is nuts, it is COMPLICATED… well you see father, I have to get the perfect gift…not just any gift… the PERFECT GIFT… I need the next phone up… I mean I cant use this one no more…yes, it works, I got calls, talked with friends and family… got my messages…but with this new phone… I can talk to NASA and the astronauts… check the globe… find my car… plan world domination!!! Well I need the faster computer father.. I mean dang… I have to have more speed… I mean, it needs to type my letters before I even think about what to say… Well… My tree has to be perfect… you can just put lights up… I mean you have to plan everything little thing… its not THAT SIMPLE FATHER… And when we are getting ready for the Christmas party… and your husband comes out with the wrong tie, the clothes he is wearing does not match… ladies, why do you get so filled with anxiety… oh my gosh, father… I mean it look terrible, it doesn’t match…you have been married for how long???? Did you honestly expect him to all of a sudden, MATCH EVERYTHING… HE HAS YET TO DO THIS…AND YALL HAVE BEEN MARRIED HOW LONGGGGG??? Just let it go…it’s a Christmas party…have a beer, both of you, relax…it is just that…. SIMPLE!!! Ladies, please….when you go to get ready for this same Christmas party… pick any shoes… really?!?!?!? I mean, you have how many dozens… pick one and run with it… walk with it… who cares what it matches… I stand here on the altar, in a dress, telling you to pick something and put it on…if I can… in my dress… so can you… its all good, promise…it’s that SIMPLE!!!
Do we truly understand the Greatest Commandment…. Love God, with your whole heart, mind and soul…and love our neighbor… that is our GOAL, COMPLETELY!!! IT IS JUST, THAT SIMPLE… asks yourselves, in anything and everything that you do… does it measure up to this goal…. IT IS JUST THAT SIMPLE!!! THE MEETINGS YOU ATTEND, THE ERRANDS YOU RUN, THE WORK YOU DO, THE CHORES YOU DO…ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING…
My B & S in Christ… what was true 2000 years ago in the writing Marks Gospel, was true with Robert Downey Jr… and Einstein was right… “If you can’t explain something SIMPLY; then you truly don’t understand well enough”
Amen

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PSR 2019 - JUNE 10TH - 21ST