2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 3:14-21 (As built; Amite, 3-11-2018 #296)

  1. TESTIMONY…Testimony…to give testament to…to verify…to stand up…to be counted.
  1. The year’s about 1900… his name is Henry…Henry lives in a little Suburb of Michigan… Michigan City outside of Michigan…and as a result of it…he is one of four siblings… and he has two parents… both parents are part of… well their immigrants… one from Ireland and one from Belgium… and all they own… all they own is the farm… The problem is not only does it take all four of the children… not to mention his mom and dad… it is all they can do to break even… at best… As a result of it… by the age of fifteen his dad…his dad recognizes something in Henry and says… Man… Henry… your ability to understand mechanical things is uncanny… it’s really a notch above… and he found this out by simply giving his son the watch his son played with it and ended up fixing it… then the next thing you know is the neighbors started bringing their watches and time keepers to him… and the next thing you know man everybody was bringing something mechanical… His dad said it’s just… IT’S JUST UNBELIEVABLE!! …even…even Henry noticed he had the Gift… then he started to believe truly it was a special Gift… But like anything in life a little curve comes… By the age of 20 his mom passes… Man…that was everything to Henry… it devastated him…Even told his dad it’s time for him to leave… He’d like to go to Detroit… to work for the Edison Company… He said… Son… we build the farm and everything… it’s for you… He said…You don’t…you don’t love the farm…He said… papa I never loved the farm… I’ve only loved momma on the farm… He said he’d like to go work with the Edison Company… With his blessing he goes… he works for the Edison Company… and then leaves… then he goes and works for Westing House… then Henry goes and works for a sawmill… As a matter of fact…the Cadillac development company…catches on to an idea that Henrys doing… He called it the Quadricycle…Man brothers and sisters in Christ…next thing you know man the world started growing… And Henry came up with this horseless carriage idea… Yeah… you know Henry… you know him as Henry Ford…But what you may not know about Henry is what ensued… When he started coming up with the concept of cars man…. money was a problem… He said money was no object… he had none… He couldn’t get things built fast enough to get’em sold so to pay the bills… then all of a sudden people were complaining… I want different color cars… He got so frustrated he said you can have any color car you want… as long as it’s black… And then all of a sudden man it grew in to about thirty cars a month… When it got up to about sixty cars a month…. problems started happening… Not because the product didn’t work… He had NOBODY to testify to give testimony that indeed… outside of Henry Ford…that those indeed that was actually a good automobile… Man brothers and sisters in Christ… man things started to struggle…he’s still producing cars and he’s getting better at it all the time… and they are efficient… I GOT TO TELL YOU THEY ARE PRETTY DURABLE... and then all of a sudden his secretary walks in and says… Mr. Ford you’re not gonna believe this… you got the testimony you’ve been waiting for… we got a letter … He said I don’t have time for this… I’m trying to get more cars… I need more money… I need this… I need that… She said just read the letter… it’s a testament to your car… He picks the letter up… he reads the bottom line… who wrote it… his jaw almost drops to the floor… and then he reads it to his staff… Dear Sir… While I have breath in my lungs… I want to tell you… you make one heck of a car… as a matter of fact… every chance I get… your car’s the one I try to steal…because it’s durable…it’s dependable…Now granted… everything I do may not be legal… but you make one dainty of a V8…signed… Bonnie and Clyde… Clyde Barrow… ALL BECAUSE OF A GOOD TESTIMONY….
  1. THAT IS THAT BOOK!!! THAT IS THE GOSPEL!!! My brothers and sisters in Christ…Think for a second… Remember all the way down in the Gospel…All of a sudden you will be turning in to the truth and when you do the truth… you will turn to the light… and the light will shine upon you and your deeds will be seen as they have come from God…A Testimony that you indeed have faith…that is what that Gospel is about… If you do the good works it will show you have faith… and because you have faith… you will do good works… Now my brothers and sisters in Christ… if you were a 1st Century Jew and you heard the Good Lord speaking to Nicodemis… who is Phariseetic…he is a high ranking Jew…and all of a sudden he stands up and the Good Lord tells him … remember back in the old testament… and as a 1st Century Jew you’d already would know this… in the Book of Numbers…you’d remember back in the desert… man the Israelites were complaining against God…NO MORE MANNA!! They’re telling God to pick up His toys and leave…the Good Lord says… You want me to leave… then so be it…Then fiery serpents started showing up in the desert… They starting biting them…and they started to pass… Moses pleads on their behalf… and the Good Lord says… I’LL TELL YOU WHAT… YOU TAKE A STAFF… YOU BRONZE IT…YOU BRONZE THE SERPENT…. YOU PUT IT ON A STAFF….AND YOU MAKE EVERYBODY TURN AND ACKNOWLEDGE IT… and you will be saved…Now brothers and sisters in Christ… for a 1st Century Jew…. That’s hugely profound… because now He’s telling them… that just like I’ll be lifted up… and you will have to come acknowledge me… after the fact.. Brothers and sisters now remember… please remember this… how many times you hear as Catholics…we worship idols…but yet here they are in the desert… WORSHIPPING A SERPENT… He’s acknowledging… HE’S USING THE ANTITHESIS OF…He’s using the opposite to draw your attention to it… Do you know today the medical insignia …that’s where we get it from…the book of Numbers… Tell me the Catholic Church isn’t far reaching…Now brothers and sisters in Christ…whenever you mention serpent… remember this too…you automatically go back to Adam and Eve… So as a 1st Century Jew you’re going to say man…NOT ONLY DO I REMEMBER THE DESERT…I REMEMBER ADAM AND EVE HAVING PROBLEMS….and if you translate the Greek back into it… into the Aramaic… it means Seraphim…Remember the angels…they had all the different Seraphim …Cherubim…Seraphim…Seraphim means fiery serpent…Which means that angel that fell down from Heaven…into Hell….is the one causing the problems…So as a 1st Century Jew…you’d get it…You understand all too well…that all of a sudden it needs to be more than just faith….It’s gonna have to be works…and you get that through the GRACE OF GOD…ALL things come through Him…
  1. My brothers and sisters through Christ…go back through Scripture…EVERYBODY THAT WAS A TESTAMENT TO JESUS CHRIST, EVERYBODY THAT STOOD UP WHEN EVERYBODY ELSE SAT DOWN HAD TO DO SOMETHING!! …They had to DO something….. brothers and sisters in Christ… to shine LIGHT on the truth….WHO BETTER THAN HER …MAN…HER LAST WORDS IN SCRIPTURE… DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU… Over a non-issue of wine…the point being…if you actually went back to the translation…and you really got down to the specific words…even though we translate it in a very broad way… man… WOMAN WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH ME…. My hour has not come…When you get down to the nitty gritty …the words went even get so far as to say …I will do whatever you ask ..but if you call Me to come out…and I will…remember… I’m not so much as your Son… as I am now the Messiah…and the next time you hold Me in your hands… will be at the bottom of the Crucifix...The Pieta…Do whatever He tells you…THAT IS A TESTIMONY… to what it meant for Her…to get people to follow her Son… Man… go back to the Crucifixion…did we not…did we not have twelve apostles…but yet only one seems to have found his way to the Crucifixion… Is that not a testament to who he is…What about Longinus WHO STANDS UP IN FRONT OF ALL THE SOLDIERS…. and stands and says….TRULY THAT MAN WAS THE SON OF GOD …Man now that’s a testament…
  1. But you know for everyone that does that there’s always someone that just doesn’t do IT… Judas is seconds away from being Saint Judas …but he makes no proclamation…he doesn’t make it known that he has a repentful heart…He doesn’t make it known that “I’m Sorry”…
  1. My brothers and sisters in Christ now here you and I sit 2000 years later… HOW DETERMINED ARE YOU TO BE A TESTIMONY TO JESUS CHRIST… THAT YOU ARE INDEED A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHIRIST…. THAT YOU ARE INDEED A CATHOLIC FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST….HOW WILLING ARE YOU TO GO PUBLIC ON IT… Well…I’ll tell you what…let’s see…Brothers and sisters in Christ…if someone was to ask you pray…WILL YOU MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS…WILL YOU JUMP IN AND SAY I’LL PRAY…. And would you even offer up the Hail Mary knowing that nobody else in that group knows that prayer… I mean are you gonna disparage Her veil because you don’t want to hurt their… their feelings…My brothers and sisters in Christ…if I were to go into your offices…would I see anything in your office that says you are a follower of Jesus Christ…That you are Catholic…STOP APOLOGIZING FOR BEING CATHOLIC… FOR 1600 YEARS YOU’RE EITHER A JEW OR A CATHOLIC…STOP PLACATING THE GAME…. we do it all the time…Are you Christian…yes I am…that way I don’t have to offend anybody in case you’re a different type of Christian…which there’re 30,000 of them…but I don’t know where you sit…so I’m just gonna take the middle…Why don’t you say…ABSOLUTELY I’M CATHOLIC…IS THAT NOT ENOUGH… I mean if we don’t accept Him and acknowledge Him in public…He’s not gonna acknowledge you before Our Father… Are we so worried about their opinion we disparage His….My brothers and sisters in Christ… if I went into your office…would there be anything in there…a crucified Christ on a cross… a Pieta…a medal…you know what’s amazing…everybody in the world…every boss…every associate…every co-worker…wants to work with somebody who’s honest…true…stands where they stand…know says what they mean…mean what they say…and plants their flag…everybody just wants to know where that person sits…How many times to we say it…man at least I know where he sits…or she sits…Brothers and sisters in Christ…you know what’s amazing… they want those character traits in every one of us…whenever were asks to do something…whether it’s charitable or work….whether family or friends …or whatever…everybody wants those traits…but we don’t want to acknowledge the person that gave it to us… And isn’t that the height of irony…they want you to do the work…but they will not allow you to acknowledge the person that gave you the gift…Now that is the height of hypocrisy… My brothers and sisters in Christ…if I drove and I went to your house… when I walked in would I know you were Catholic…or are you ashamed of it…If I drove by the front of your house…NOW were going public…I mean come on now…I MEAN DON’T GO STICKING MARY EVERYWHERE OUT THERE…. I mean is that where were at now… I mean Archbishop Chaput made a great argument…You know we’ve kept our beliefs so private that our household works great…but the world is in total chaos. … What would have happened if we had taken our private beliefs and made them public…wouldn’t the world be a better place for us today….But we don’t have the strengthen or the fortitude or the testimony to go public…Is it not the height of irony that after the shooting in Florida we got the unmitigated gall.. after the shooting to say…you know we need to pray for them…WE SHOULD’VE BEEN PRAYING AT THE START…THAT WAS THE PROBLEM…WE’VE RUN HIM OUT THE BOARD ROOMS, CONFERENCE ROOMS, AND CLASSROOMS… AND NOW WE WONDER WHERE WE SIT…
  2. My brothers and sisters in Christ… in leave you with this….In order to give your testimony…your gonna need to be tested…Are you UP for what it means…to stand up and acknowledge…that He is the Messiah…and that you follow Him in the teachings of Holy Mother Church…and that your Catholic…and your proud of it….consequences be damned….
  1. AMEN…. IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

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