2017 Homilies (Written)

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CHRISTMAS MASSES ( Amite, La; 12-25-17; Matthew 1:1-25)
Luke 10:1-20 (As built. #286: Amite 12-24-17; 4th Sunday of advent)
“Name”
… It’s the 1940’s… and his NAME is Frank… Frank grew up in a tough household… good thing, because he grew up in a tough neighborhood… you see, Frank was born in Newark, NJ… his mom was a barber… not a hairstylist… a barber… and his dad was a forklift driver by day and bartender/bouncer at night! And Franks dad did not like to see anyone just sitting around…so if it meant driving Frank to NY to be in a play, so be it… and it must have paid off…because Frank was asked to be a local tv show called, Star time Kids… but by the time of the 60’s Frank really wanted to be in a band…you see, Frank can sing…. Truly and boy can he play the guitar… you wouldn’t know it today! He started his own band…the 4 Seasons Band… then he cut an album called, that boy, Joe can sing! Eventually, when he became popular… his name, became a household NAME… he started the Vincent LaGuardia Gambino Band!!!... Yet, back in the 60s his music didn’t take off…and he had to eat… so off to the barber school he went… he got a bit part in the tv series, LUCY…. Which lead to a part in the Movie, Death Collector… at first it didn’t seem that popular…so he took a job as a manager of a restaurant… then the call came…from a director who saw Death Collector… Martin Scorsese… and from Robert DeNiro… which led to parts in other movies… Easy Money, Raging Bull, Dear Mr. Wonderful… but then things got tough…and Frank will tell you…. It was HUMBLING… EVEN depressing… and he never forgets how hard things got…. He said, he was so down…that if he bumped into a wall, he would say, ‘excuses me’! But he preservers and in the 1980’s the world begins to turn… and his NAME becomes the NAME in the Movie Industry… his movies were so popular, that I could give you just some of the lines from the movies…and you would recognize his NAME… “working with two detectives in Calif… he would often times… tell them, if you need anything, Just ask LEO, and he GETZ it… ok,ok,ok,ok, ok!”…. while playing a defense attorney, he is given the job of protecting two… ‘yuth’s’…. did you say, yuths? Yuths? Oh, I mean, ‘youths’! ….and his NAME really became popular when in the blockbuster gangster movie of all time… he asks… “I’m funny? How… I am funny, like a clown’… do I amuse you ?!?!?!?! Yes you know Frank… as Joe Frank Pesci …. But do you know when he made a NAME for himself… truly… when he received an OSCAR; he had one of the shortest but most profound and sincere acceptance speeches of all times… It’s my privilege, thank YOU!
THAT’S WHAT THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT… NAMES!!!
… My B & S… let’s be honest… you cut me lose right after… Abraham, is the father of Isaac… who is the father of Jacob ;) now remember, if you are a first century Jew… you know all too well where Matthew is going with this list of NAMES…first Matthew is a Jew… and it’s the only gospel written in Aramaic …. As such, he knows that to a Jew, genealogy is IMPORTANT… everyone must know how you are tied to the JEWISH FAITH… moreover, that the MESSIAH must come from the line of DAVID… please note too, that there is a reasons why 4 women are part of that line… albeit their past history is somewhat shady, if you will… letting you and I know… that the Good Lord can make all things… all people, NEW!!! Secondly, to proof that Christ is from David’s Line… and only two people have titles, to help assist in that regard… David the King…and Christ, whose name means “Anointed One, Messiah”!!!
THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… NAMES ARE IMPORTANT… ACTUALLY THEY ARE …………………EVERYTHING!! Think for a minute…in the Garden of Eden, Adam and eve are called Man and Woman… for the most part…they don’t get NAMES… if you will till after they have sinned and have been removed…!!!! Hence, the fact they have names, whereas in the Garden of Paradise there was no need for names…no sin was taking place…but once sin does… we now are NAMED and accountable for our own sins, our own NAME!!! Have you ever asked yourself… why did Jesus called Lazarus out by name…for HE, Christ yells out, come out…without adding a name…all, ALL would come from their graves…like the second coming!!! NAMES are so important in Scripture…in our time as well…that even NAME changes are significant… Abram to Abraham… Saul to Paul… Jacob to Israel…. Hence, why popes and nuns change their names…a new life, a new beginning… a new walk in Christ!!! And lastly, have you ever asked yourself… in the true story of the rich man and lazars… why don’t we know the rich man’s name… you know the story right… the rich man… sees Lazarus at his feet…yet wont feed him…probably walks over him to get to his table of food, a feast…and probably steps over him to leave the house… even the dogs notice Lazarus…they lick his wounds…yet when they die… the rich man ends in hell…and is called to fr Abraham to send Lazarus over to him…with a drip of water for his tongue… and when Abraham says to no… he ask that he send Lazarus to his brothers, etc… and Abraham says no… and then proceeds to tell the ‘rich man’…. that there is a chasm that no one will ever cross!!! Why don’t we know only Lazarus’s name…for his NAME is written in the BOOK OF LIFE… and there is no book of death, hence there would be no reason to know the former rich man’s name!!!! and for the record…its not a parable… whenever a proper name is used… its true…and not parabolic…
MY FRIENDS IN CHRIST… here you and I sit some 2000 years later… how protective are you … about YOUR NAME!!!! Remember…. YOUR NAME IS EITHER IN BOOK OF LIFE OR IT IS not…..!!!! YES or no!!! There will be no debate, no mediation, no arbitration….you either … IN or…..out!!!! So ask yourself… is your synoumous with ‘thomas’… you doubt everything… you don’t study the faith… I mean heck… I haven’t killed anyone!!!!! Neither did the rich man!!!!!!!!!! Well the church didn’t teach…that excuse died the minute it left your mouth… the church taught me not to read… so your excuse now is what… lazy?!?!? Its YOUR SOUL…no one elses’!!!! Is your NAME tied to your PAST… you cant get over what you did, how your acted…what you have become… IT DOESN MATTER!!! What if MM, Peter, the Good Thief… lived in the Past… the PAST HAS NO STRING ON YOU…NEVER DID , NEVER WILL… TODAY… today is a new day, and so is YOUR NAME!!! Is your name tied to always being ‘neutral’…never taking a stand… a fence walked if you will… well, let me help you… you are NEVER NEUTRAL… YOU are either walking toward HIM or away from HIM… you went to the same number of masses last year as this year…or the same number of confessions. Or times in adoration…you are GOING BACKWARDS!!! Remember, there is no fence between heaven and hell…and if there was, it would be owned by the devil!!!!! Is you name tied to the lepers of Scripture…NO HUMILITY … the good LORD cures 10 and only one returns… are you the one of the nine…who give no credit to God or anyone else…you actually believe you are self-made…no SUCH THING… you had no say on whether you were male, female, white black, born in this country or another…all gifts are SUPERNATUAL…
MY B & S…in Christ… all you and I have is our Name… and the only thing… that is IMPORTANT is that we, our family, our friends make it to HEAVEN… that’s it!!! THAT’S OUR ONE JOB… I don’t want to hear about work, your job, your profession… sell it to someone else… remember… OUR NAME IS TIED TO OUR SOUL!!! And I hope and pray… that when you return home…your HEAR our Savior say, WELCOME HOME MY CHIILD…I WROTE MY NAME IN YOUR HEART… PLEASE COME, JOIN ME AT MY TABLE… and you don’t hear the words… depart from me, I don’t even know your …name!!!!
Amen!!!

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