2017 Homilies (Written)

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Mark 1;12-15 (As built; Amite, # 293)
  1. “Perseverance”… finish the race!!!!
  2. …. The year is 1933… Years 1930… His name is Joe… affectionately referred to as Mr. Joe! And he is officially…. Clinically… truly, depressed!!! Truth the matter is everyone is depressed… anyone and everyone … they are all depressed!!! Because… they have reason to be… It’s the Great Depression!!! Mr. Joe is standing in the field exhausted, exasperated, yes and even depressed… He looks up into the heavens and proclaims… ENOUGH IS ENOUGH… !!! ENOUGH ALREADY… THIS MUST… STOP!!!!  ….As he stayed in the field, hands on his knees… he straightens up… and then, he looks over to his house…. Unfinished… unpainted …not to mention, it’s way too small… YET another reminder of how he’s fallen short…!!!  He looks at it to the fields ….they barely producing… YET ANOTHER reminder of his pathetic life…!!!! … he looks at the road that connects the fields to the house… Well it’s more of a path… The wind and rain pretty much destroyed the road… not to mention,  his two mule wheel wagon stuck in the middle… of the… path…. Not to mention, that he no longer has two mules…!!! Again, the ‘wagon’ is stranded on the road…. broken down… missing a few wheels… and oh by the way, is about rusted out!!!!  …. Looking around again, Joe, looks over at his barn… foundation is cracked….. Roof is caved in… the bard doors are missing … what’s the point!!!!!.... Then again, he looks out to his pasture…. his cows are under nourished…. underfed and now…. unproductive…!!! And then the coop da gras… He looks over to the garden and sees his wife struggling to plant something, anything….!!!! That says it ALL!!! THAT IS THE CONSUMATE REMINDER… of how much he is failed her….. his family…. His two sons….!!! At that moment… Julio sees his dad… he seems to be yelling into the skies… and just exhausted…. Exasperated…  Julio, runs over to his… dad… we must PERSERVERE!!!!  We  must stay the course…!!! It will get better!!! we just have to finish the race…!!! The grapes will produce… we will make wine… Mr. Joe loses his cool… And he says Prohibition… will not be repealed …. We will not be able to sell the grapes for wine!!!!!!!!! Yet, Julio… stays after his dad….  he told his dad …you must PERSERVERE …  dad ….you must finish this race!!!!! …. we will make it ….just hang in there with me….!!!!! And finally, he tells his dad…. That he has to run an errand… he will be back…he will be back shortly…. then he sees his dad standing on the porch as he’s driving off waving to him… he sees them overalls covered in caked in mud ….doesn’t bother washing them anymore …. he sees that tan line …farmers tan skin…. His arms burned to a crisp… his hair is all messed up…  his hair is going every which way… he is unclean… and unshaven… wiping his four head… !!!! Something told him he should stay around… but Julio leaves… Hours later he gets a call from the corner …..his dad is not only taken his own life ….but that of his wife’s!!!!!  Julio and his brother Ernest…. finish with their dad started because they… PERSERVERED…!!!!!! five months later…….. only five months later probation is repealed ……..and now they can sell their GRAPES… THEIR WINE… AND BECOME ONE OF THE BIGGEST WINERIES OF THE DAY…  You know Julio and Ernest Gallo!!! Perseverance is one of the greatest gifts!!!
  3. THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT.... perseverance!!! The good Lord …is in the desert…. for 40 days… Remember now ….that includes Sundays…!! !! Just a REMINDER!!!....And now remember this… IF you are a first century jew…  You are well aware of that Mark is not an apostle ….but a follower of Peter and Paul…. And you are aware of the fact… that Mark is speaking to the Gentiles… and just in case, there are any jews in the area… he, Mark also uses some examples for them…  For example the spirit that lead Christ into the desert… That spirit would be the Holy Spirit… remember, just days before the good Lord was baptized in the Jordan River… and the heavens opened up … a Dove descended… God the father says “this is MY SON, whom I Am  well pleased’ … This same spirit, the Holy Spirit… is the one,  that lead him in to the desert… secondly an equally important… for  any first entry Jew, is the statement about wild beast… this points to the book of Genesis…. In particular Adam… in the garden… With the animals…!!! Where, he named them… lived with them; Moreover, Adam also he lives in a plush garden …. Where everything he has is that his fingertips …. But because of bringing sin into the world… and ultimately death… Adam or Man if you will… along with the woman… are removed from the garden!!!.. And now, by the sweat of their brow… along with thorns and thistles… they have to work… work in fields like a … ‘ desert’ !!! now don’t forget… the Good Lord is now the new Adam…. And as such, He will take over where Adam left off… or failed, if you will… the Good Lord still will have to deal with the animals… but he will do so outside the Garden… in a desert… !!! And, thirdly …as a first century jew, the number 40 is not lost on your…. it represents the tenure in the desert… A time of penance… And restitution…!!!
  4. … on a side bar… side not… with regards to temptation… the Good Lord can be tempted!!! But HE CANNOT Sin… you see, sin takes on several stages…three to be exact… one is the suggestion… where the devil plants the seed, by suggesting to you… either verbally or within your thoughts!!!… So the devil, can give him the suggestion… the second phase is called, “ delight” !!! But unlike us…. Who fall in the second phase, called Delight…. HE DOES NOT… HE takes no delight, NO delight… in going against HIS OWN WILL, TO LOVE.. TO SACRIFICE… to hurt HIS children… so, with no delight… there will be no CONSENT… the final step, step 3!!! We sin, because we receive the SUGGESTION… we take DELIGHT in the sin… and we CONSENT!!! Yet, the devil can tempt Christ… but to NO AVAIL!!!!
  5.  SO THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE…  all the greatest players … the gravest sinners… are those who PERSERVE… like… Mary Magdalene once again she rather be near a dead savior… than real live people… !!! She’d rather get up on Easter Sunday morning… when everybody’s lounging around tired ….exasperated … in complete doubt and denial… she’d rather go to the TOMB… knowing full well…. that there will be a boulder in the way that she cannot remove… that she will have to cross of the guards at one time or another… who probably will try to take advantage of her …. Not to mention the fact that the TOMB!!! Has been sealed with wax seal…. that so the only Pilate can allow opening!!! … But because she does what she does…. because she PERSEVERES, she’s the first to receive the RISEN CHRIST… even before Peter himself… !!! before the first pope… THE VICAR HIMSELF!!!  THEN OF COURSE… there is Peter, himself!!!  Yes, he made his share of mistakes no question about it… he’s on the Sea of Galilee… a storm comes… up he’s a fisherman he can handle this… Christ is just a Carpenter… What do you need a carpenter for… it’s not like I’m going to build a boat or anything…  I, I can handle this!!!  I have been on the Sea of Galilee….. Since ….well it was a pond …. Yet at some point he just doesn’t get it…. He finally has to yell out to the Good Lord… “Do you care if we perish” !!!!  And no sooner than Peter speaks, the Good Lord has to rebuke the wind …. Something must be in wind to rebuke it… I mean, the wind in inanimate… for HIM to rebuke it, like he does when HE confronts a devil… HE REBUKES it… There must have been something diabolical intrinsically in the wind for HIM to do such… yet the next time, Peter is in the Boat… the Good Lord is not within arm’s reach… HE is a little further away… teaching Peter yet again, that someday, I will not be at your elbow…you need to grow in faith…so I will go further out… it may seem to you Peter, that I have distanced myself…but the truth of the Matter… I AM, right at your side, for ALL ETERNITY!!!! …. BEFORE I digress… the next boating incident…  Peter sees the Good Lord out on the water… he calls out to the Good Lord, if it is you, tell me to come!!!!.... COME PETER!!! Give Peter his due… he PERSERVERS…  HE… actually takes the steps out on the water…  he take several steps… say what you want about it but at least he was trying…. PERSERVING…!!! Remember, the other 11 did not budge… even when he was drowning… Yes it is also true… that Peter was called Satan… by our Lord, our Lords nemesis… Can you imagine if He called you and I…. Satan…!!! But Peter PERSEVERES…. even when he denies our savior three times …can you imagine everywhere Peter went somebody in the peanut gallery for the next 33 years … yelled out during one of his talks… ‘ boy, are you a piece of work… Telling me how to worship… and yet you denied HIM, not once, not twice… but three times!!! But Peter PERSEVERES … because he has the gift… and for the next 33 years… HE IS, THE VICAR… of holy mother church…. it’s first pope… and upon this rock I will build my church!!!!! NOT TO MENTION… HE is crucified upside down… AND STILL… PERSEVERES and preaches the gospel for three hours… !!! And for what its worth…According to tradition… his wife was martyred… on that same day!!!  Speaking of people… Saul/Paul knows how to PERSERVER…. hear you are the true Jew… If you want somebody to beat the issue… you need Saul!!! If you want to win a debate … get Saul on your side…  if YOU want to win an argument , you need Saul’s influence… his power, prestige!!!!.. And yet, after three days of being blinded…. he goes from the top of the top …to the very bottom…. talk about persevere!!!!  He has no money… he’s actually got to go back to his other job ….being a tent maker… It’s not like the other apostles who make some income from the Church…  Saul/Paul has no prestige …. no power …he’s been whipped… chained… thrown in jail …but thanks to Paul… we have a church… A gentile church!!!!!!!! And for that matter, a Church for you and I!!
  6. …Oh my brothers and sisters in Christ here we sit some 2000 years later…. will you or will you not PERSEVERE…??? Yes or no????… Not kinda, sorta … of the most part… … You’re either in… orrrr you are out!!!  Maybe… you are having problems at work… your boss, your coworkers… clients… supervisors… you are being belittled… condemned… they curse you… judge you… talk behind your back!!!!??? …  your boss… well, simply doesn’t like you… your coworkers don’t trust you… care for you… speak to you… you didn’t get the contract you wanted… the raise you believe you are owed… the position you wanted…!!!!!! Will you PERSERVERE… ???? YES OR NO?????? ….  WILL YOU DO WHAT IS NEEDED FOR YOU TO DO….  PERSERVERE…. ITS WHAT IS…  required of you because that’s what you do … AS A  good person …as a good man… a good woman… A good Catholic!!! When things were not bouncing your way… You didn’t get the contract …you didn’t get the job… it’s not enough income to pay the bills ….will you or will you not persevere……!!!????  Well… WHATS IT GONNA BE… ARE YOU GOING… TO GET UP , CLEAN YOURSELF OFF… AND GET BACK IN THE GAME????  Sooooo you  didn’t pass the test… the test  results from the doctor are not good… you don’t have the money… the cost is too much… an unexpected bill…or bad news… WILL YOU OR WILL YOU NOT PERSEVERE!!! Remember what I’ve told you… What other people think of you, is none of your business!!! Remember too, YOU DON’T HAVE TO WIN THE RACE…BUT YOU BETTER SURE FINSIH IT!!!!  You have a bad day … things are not going well … You feel alone… betrayed… the bills are mounting up… YOU WANT TO HAVE A PITY PARTY… WELL DO IT!!! Knock yourself out… Go outside kick your dog… kick your neighbors dog…  have a drink… get drunk… I don’t care… but come the next day, YOU SUCK IT UP AND GET BACK IN THE GAME!!!  … IMAGINE THIS… judas… spent… three years proclaiming the gospel ….he proclaim Christ was the messiah…. He called him the KING…  even held the man’s money… yet the last three seconds…. the last three seconds of his life……………………… all he had to do was PERSEVERE FOR THREE SECONDS ………………..before he hung himself… say, Im sorry!!!!!!!  If he would have PERSERVERED… JUST three more seconds… He would be called St Judas…  and be standing with those 12 apostles in the courtyard today!!  ….your fault …. my fault…. nobodies fault….  WE’RE FINISHING THIS RACE… !!!!
  7. And I’ll leave you with what a great philosopher once said… PERSEVERE… EVEN THE SNAILS MADE THE ARK
  8. Amen!!!!

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PSR 2019 - JUNE 10TH - 21ST