2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 1:6-28; (As built; Amite # 285; 12-17-17)
What others think… of you
…It’s the 1800’s… and she is POOR!!!!... Actually, she is worse than POOR… She has nothing! Absolutely nothing! (Be vocal…. Get it out there…. Then pretend to walk away…. Pause…lift your finger…) Well, she does have one thing…SHE has POVERTY!!! You see…it is the 1800’s…and she lives at the foothills of the Ozarks… in a small cabin…very small cabin … not to mention….that she is a Widow…She is up in age… she has little to no food, maybe for a few days… and she is broke…DEAD BROKE… and if that is not bad enough…the banker is coming to foreclose on her last payment owed…of 800 dollars!... She walks out onto her porch…which cannot be any bigger than about 3 feet…show hands… SHE LOOKS AROUND…She lets it out…. I got nothing… I do not know WHAT TO SAY….WHAT TO DO….WHERE TO GO!!??? She is spent….then she hears this noise coming from up the road…she sees three men on horseback….they look like rough characters…one man looks like Lucifer himself…man, this is all I need…. Then the oldest speaks out….Mam… could I BURDEN YOU…for some breakfast for me and my men…. She drops her head…LORD IN YOUR HANDS….she reluctantly invites them in….they gather around the table, while she cooks breakfast…the oldest notices…she has NOTHING… there has not been a man in the house for years… when she begins to feed them breakfast… he realizes that she has barely enough food for her, much less …them…. He sees here eyes start to water…and he asked her….MAM….HOW CAN I HELP YOU!? She replies, that he cannot…he states his request yet again… MAM, HOW CAN I HELP YOU….? The lady responds, that she is 800 dollars short to pay our her….’cabin’…. the banker is coming today to foreclose if she does not make the final payment…. The oldest man, reaches into his saddle bag, pulls out money for the breakfast as well as the 800 owed…he give it to her! She is beside herself…she does not know what to say…. Finally, the oldest man…states… mam, I do not like bankers…I do not trust them…. So get a receipt….she agreed. At that point ,the three men got on their horses and headed out….and not long after….the banker arrives in a carriage…and when he gets out…he DEMANDS THE MONEY (get loud…)…she pays him everything owed….he is in shock…he is actually mad…then she remembered…. I NEED A RECIEPT TOO! He reluctantly gave it to her…and off he went…he was about a mile outside of town…and low and behold…he gets robbed….by three men on horseback… one he said looked like lucifer himself !!! Yes, B & S, he went by a lot of names…Woodson, thief… some, liked the lady in the cabin called him robin hood… others a bank robber… murder… his brother was called Frank… and he called him, Jessie… yes you know Jessie as Jessie James!! A true story…. But I bet you he didn’t care what people thought of him… and neither should you…
THAT’S WHAT THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT… do you think John the Baptist cared what people thought about his hair… the fact that he doesn’t shave…what he wore…his camel skin…or that he ate locust and honey… John the Baptist cares about ONLY ONE OPINION … THAT OF JESUS CHRIST!!!
…now if you are a first century jew… when you heard the term ‘bare witness’… like john used …in ‘bearing witness’ to Christ… the term in Greek is Materia…(sp?)… Which is where we get the term , Martyr … so John knows for the most part, how things will work out…or not… secondly… John has NO PROBLEM telling people… he is NOT the Christ… NOR is he Elijah… NOR the prophet… (the prophet is liken to Moses…); he doesn’t care WHAT THEY THINK… so much so…he tells them…he is nothing more than a ‘voice’… he isn’t even a slave, who can at least touch a master’s sandals…REMEMBER, b & s in Christ… the words of Christ … ‘no man born of a woman is greater than John the Baptist’!!!
THOUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… mankind if you will… people that worry about what others think of them… always seem to fall… take pilate… he is so consumed with what Caesar thinks... of him… he is willing to let Christ be crucified, that suffer that ‘humiliation’… you know what is amazing… that the same Jewish people, the high priest, that he succumbed too… eventually got sideways with him over water rights…and Pilate took his own life… so much for what ‘others think of you’…. Yet for everyone one of them, there is always…ALWAYS someone who really doesn’t care what others think…. And Scripture is full of them… who only cared what CHRIST thought of them… so much so…they became our best players… take MM… she doesn’t care about the guards around the tomb… what they think…much less say… yes, they probably did take advantage of her…all she cares about… ALL SHE CARES ABOUT is being next to a ‘dead savior’… and because of this… the first to see the RISEN CHRIST!!! Do you think Longinus cares about what others think…including other soldiers or even pilate himself…when he proclaims… truly, this man was the Son of God!!! Even though it will eventually cost him his life… according to tradition…. Leaves the roman legion, becomes a follower of Christ… he cares about one opinion and one opinion only…. THAT OF THE CHRIST!!! What if Paul worried about what others thought… would he have left ‘Saul’ to become Paul?!?!?
My FRIENDS IN CHRIST… here we sit come 2000 years later… do you care what others think of you?!?!? Do you?!?! I know what we often say… but does it bother us…. Let’s see?!?!? Do you care what you wear to the Christmas party… that the tie doesn’t match, or the shoes don’t match the dress… do you compare yourself to others… to what they have or don’t have… I Promise you this… I have been privileged to be next to many of people on their death bed…truly an honor… and I have yet to hear someone speak to me about my Roth IRA…or their regular IRA… their savings account…the size of their house, their camp… the boat, the car… the golf/hunting/fishing… stuff…. I tell you now… about 10-15 seconds after you pass… within the day…your clothes that you just had to buy and wore once… and different outfits for different days, meetings, etc… will be at Gods store house… the golf clubs that you pampered… well, your nephew will leave them in the rain and they will be rusted within the week…the car that you were meticulous about …well, it will have more dents in it… than a bumper car in Disney land… your jewelry will be scoured by family…. So why do you care what others think, again???? Why do you care is people get nervous if you make the sign of the cross… or begin with the Hail Mary…or tell people that you need to go to mass and y;all are on vacation… or skip the game to go to Mass or adoration…. Or you have to leave to go to confession…. THEIR OPINION OF YOU MEANS NOTHING!!!!
I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS… ‘what others think of you, is none of your business’!
Amen

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We, at St. Helena Catholic Church, are concerned with educating, directing, and sustaining all who visit. 

In particular those who draw near to the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church. 

We strive to achieve this by utilizing the Cardinal Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.