2017 Homilies (Written)

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A. Focus…. Focus….
B. It’s been over a … it’s been over a decade…. I bet it been almost close to fifteen years now… maybe twenty…. You see I used to live in Jerusalem many years ago. I remember the year 33 …. Ought to, I lived there…. I’m probably the only Gentile living in the Jewish city… I live in a sect that is very Jewish… The Essene’s supposedly reside here …. The very strict Jew’s like John the Baptist… You know I do a little bit of everything…I’m not great at much…. But it ain’t for a lack of trying…man I’ll do anything from to help build huts or houses…. I will work the land… I will work the farms… I’ll do whatever is needed…. I live… I live in a place that is probably 10 x10… I bet it’s no bigger than this… I made it myself… Look there’s not a lot of work and even less money… and I did my own roof and it’s thatch and you know what is amazing… when it rains… yes… it is damp in there… you know sometimes during the night when it’s a beautiful night you can actually see some of the stars…. Truth be told… I would actually go sit out on the roof and just stare up into the heavens….. but man inside my house…isn’t much… I have my own little table… got one little chair…my door… well.., I gotta be honest… man sometimes you see who is coming if you stand at just the right spot… man tonight there is something different…. you can feel it… there is…there is a peace.. its just different… it’s just tangible…it’s like the darkness…. Man all of a sudden there is a knock at the door….and I look out and man…who… it…it’s John… my brothers and sisters in Christ… the one the Good Lord said… the Beloved…man… John is ALL heart… I bet’ya he is not even 19 or 20… I don’t believe John has an enemy in the world….and I can assure you that if John is their enemy… that speaks volumes of that person… he opens… I open the door and John comes in and says…. Man I want you to come with me…. I want you to come with me to a dinner tonight…. And I said… John, I’m a Gentile…I don’t go to Passover meals….and he says… but you need to come to this one…. I remember walking with him and the night is so quiet…the road is no wider than this…. And everybody is in their homes… you can see the candles burning…and if you have a little bit of money you actually have a gate around your property… so the animals can stay actually outside… I actually watched my other friends that are a little more economically challenged they’re bringing their animals inside because they have their meal upstairs…man my brothers and sisters in Christ… they were walking and you can see the stars… it’s just beautiful… there is a light in the world… it’s even almost as if the stars weren’t burring but you could still see where you needed to go…at the end of the street… on the other side of Jerusalem on the north side of the district… you will see a big two-story home… it’s made of rock… looks like plaster… and there is a set of rock stairs on the back side… we go up the room and we walk in and this room is about … I guess it’s 15 x 30 and IN IT is a table made in the shape of a U and man I notice it…. Man… every placed is set… I start to count them… there is twelve… I see a table on the side… I see a vase... I see a jar… I see towels…man brothers and sisters in Christ… I tell John…. I ask John… about what is going on…. He said… just enjoy it… I said… John, I’M A GENTILE… He says… be at peace…just relax… no sooner than I start… I said… John where he wants me to sit…and John POINTS ON THE INSIDE OF THE U… right on the other… on the INSIDE of the U… he says… this is where I want you to sit… and as soon as he finishes pointing the door opens up… man… I’m gonna tell ya’ it’s his brother James…. Not he is a little older than John but he is a lot more outgoing… you can see it… there is something about James…he’s got a determination… he sees me and is taken aback… like I wasn’t expected… he’s cordial… he is very cordial… he nods to me… man.. he embraces his brother… and man no sooner than he comes in… he already begins to go to his seat… right after him comes Andrew… this is Peter’s brother… when he shakes your hand you know it’s a fisherman… you can tell… man… he may be rough round the edges like… much like Peter… man I gotta tell ya…he’s come… he embraces John almost lifts him off his feet… when he sees me… he doesn’t extend his hand he just nods… and I’m thinking… man I remember him…. I said… he is the one crucified in the shape of the cross…I remember him sticking to his guns… they wanted to take him off the cross… I remember… and he said no… that his Savior went this way so will he…I remember him… than all of sudden…brother and sisters in Christ…then the next one comes in … and this is Nathaniel… he is a little younger a little taller…but man he has been out into the world… man he just nods… he is very serious… he’s… everything is at arm’s length… he doesn’t embrace John as much as it is …he just puts his hand on John’s back… than Nathaniel walks in and he takes his seat… man my brothers and sisters in Christ … then comes Philip… man… I thought Andrew was big and kinda round and robust…no…no… Philip is even much bigger… Philip… man… is a guys’ guy… then I remember him… man he is all about Christ… I gotta tell ya… I’m sure the other twelve are every bit the man he was but this guy would go to the nine yards…. AND BOY DOES HE… cause later he too would get crucified… and I remember saying… man…I don’t think … if there is ever one Apostle that wouldn’t back up…I said… man… that’s Philip… man then brothers and sisters in Christ… then here comes Matthew…you can tell… he is dressed better than the rest… he’s a tax collector… you can tell he’s got an intellect… he is cordial with me but he is almost very guarded…like… there is no way he’s a Jew… there’s no way he’d be at Passover meal… because if it was… he wouldn’t be at this meal… because… it’s not for you to be here…. Man my brothers and sisters in Christ… the come one in after the other… and you know what’s amazing… in walks Peter and yall can say whatever you wanna say… every man in that room… knew EXACTLY who that guy is and where he sat… EVERYBODY was up and walking back to that door… EVERYBODY got up for Peter… and when I tell you he embraced each and every one of them…CALLED THEM BY NAME… and even called their name in Aramaic…brothers and sisters in Christ… they know exactly who Peter is… and upon this Rock I will build my Church… and you can say what you want about him…. That he opens his mouth and may speak too soon… but I gotta tell you… I remember that day… and I remember saying… there is no question who the leader of the Apostles is… he may not have the intellect but that man has the HEART, the STRENGTH, and the RESOLVE to lead Holy Mother Church… and has he becomes to get in…and he goes to each and every one…and when comes in…. I’m telling yall if there is evil personified…it’s Judas…he waked in and his clothes are disheveled some of’em torn… some of it is falling apart… it’s almost as if he’s in a race… he gets in… he’s even out of breath… John goes up to welcome him… THAT’S JOHN…man..HE IS ALL HEART… HE TRIES TO EMBRACE JUDAS and Judas is almost like pushing him away… man… Judas didn’t even give me the time of day… but I can tell ya’… Peter gave him the look… that said … man you better walk around this side of the table… and don’t come on this side… man brothers and sisters in Christ… man we all began to take our seats… and low and behold… where is my spot… on the other side… and who sits next to me…. Man… IT IS JUDAS… MAN I SAT THE WHOLE TIME… I’M JUST STARING AT HIM… I’M NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING THERE’S OTHER PEOPLE IN THE ROOM… I’M NOT EVEN AWARE IF CHRIST HAS COME OR GONE… I’M JUST STARING AT HIM… COULD FEEL THE HEAT COME FROM HIM… YOU COULD FEEL THE ANXIETY… YOU CAN FEEL THE EVIL…IT’S PERSONABLE…man my brothers and sisters in Christ… it’s almost as if it goes across the table…I even begin to scoot over… like as if I could get off the bench… I can’t get up and leave…. JOHN GAVE it to me… WHERE ELSE AM I GOING TO GO!! And man no sooner than I’m wondering what to do… where I should go… man … the door opens…make no mistake about it… you will FEEL His Presence… before His Presence… and when He walks in you can see how blue His eyes are across the room… you almost want to drop to your knees… cause you can feel the love that just embraces you… you knew… when He walked into the room… He knew each and everybody’s name… He knew my name even before …. I bet you… He knew my name in my mother’s womb…I’m telling you when He came in… it was almost like… So He’s the Messiah… and man He stared and was very cordial… He didn’t extend a hand… He didn’t reach out… but man there was a love there that almost changed the whole room… we were all as meek as lambs when He walked in… and then He sits down and He begins to pray and you know what is amazing…. I Lose Focus… Because I’m more worried what’s sitting to my left and that I can’t move over far enough… and I can’t believe he is about to do what he did… and I KNOW because…I REMEMBER… I BEEN THERE… I WAS IN THE ROOM… I KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT… I remember the Good Lord taking the cup…I remember Him taking the bread… then all of a sudden I remember watching John put his head on our Savior’s chest and I remember thinking …. If that is not the personification of what love is for mankind… and I can actually hear it… I KNOW Judas can… you hear Him… the one I will dip the morsel and hand to… he will be the one… Peter didn’t hear it… BUT YOU KNOW SOMETHING IS GOING ON… YOU CAN SEE IT IN PETER’S FACE… MAN… IF PETER COULD KILL WITH HIS EYES THIS MAN WOULD DIE… and I remember thinking…. Surly he’s not going to reach out and do it… I MEAN REALLY…. YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING… and I remember watching him thinking… Man is he actually going to take the bread… and I just sat and watched him… I LOST ALL FOCUS… of whose in the room… what the Apostles are doing… what our Savior is doing… once He handed it to him…. I just sat and watched… and as he ate it… I’m thinking… man it’s all over now… I wanted to yell to him and say…. Just say you’re sorry later… but… you… I couldn’t take my eyes off’em… and then He tells him… go and do what you need to do… I knew some of the Apostles were confused… but I gotta tell you… I wanted to say… Judas for the LOVE of your mother… your parents… for the love of God… for your love of own soul… just say…. You’re Sorry…. when the time comes…. my brothers and sisters in Christ…. I was so worried about Judas… I lost focus on the Messiah of the world sitting across from me…
C. That is exactly what that Gospel is all about…. My brothers and sisters in Christ…. We live in a world where we have lost our focus… we live in a world where we are more worried about the job… we are more worried about the project… more worried about a relationship…. More worried about the grade… the doctor’s visit…WE ARE WORRIED OF THE THINGS OF THE WORLD THAT HAVE NO BEARING… YOU AND I CAME IN ON THIS DAY AND WE ARE GOING HOME ON THIS DAY… AND IT’S NON-NEGOTIABLE…. HOW WE SPEND OUR TIME BETWEEN THESE TWO DAYS…. IT’S ALL ON YOU AND I ….BECAUSE ON THIS DAY… THERE WILL BE NO NEGOTIATIONS, NO ARBITRATIONS, NO MEDIATION… NO NOTHING!!! YOU ALONE WILL STAND BEFORE HIM…. AND I AS WELL… AND THE JUDGEMENT WILL BE FINAL… nothing we did in this world will matter anymore… the house…. the car… the plans…the job… the money… this, that, or the other… it’s all gone…
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ… we live in a world where we have lost our focus… we go through a day and we’re having a great day… somebody will say one thing negative about you and the only thing you or I can remember is the one thing that was said negatively… you could have a great day… YOU COULD WIN THE LOTTO… and we will complain that we now have to pay taxes… my brothers and sisters in Christ… we can have a great day and things can go well and we can get home and somebody says one thing negative… somebody drives by you and…. And … you’re number one… and man you can’t spill that venom fast enough…
E. My brothers and sisters in Christ… Mother Theresa was right… He didn’t call you to be successful… He called you to be FAITH-full… my brothers and sisters in Christ… do NOT lose your focus… THAT’S WHY YOU’VE COME… THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE… YOU ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU KNOW HE IS THE MESSIAH… YOU’VE COME IN HERE BECAUSE HE IS DOING THE PERPETUAL INSTITUTION… SO THAT ALL OF US MAY BE FED… FOR ALL ETERNITY… FOR MY FLESH IS TRUE FOOD AND MY BLOOD IS TRUE DRINK… AND IF I’M NOT IN YOU AND YOU ARE NOT IN ME… you will not have eternal life…. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE A RELIC… A THEORY… CONJECTURE… an understanding… that’s all a lie… YOU HEARD HIS WORDS… HE COULD HAVE CHOSEN ANYTHING TO SAY… IT IS CRYSTAL CLEAR… AND THERE WERE THOSE WHO DIDN’T BELIEVE HIM… AND THEY WALKED AWAY… John 6:66…
F. Do not lose focus as to why you are here… you are here to get to Heaven! You are here to get your spouse and your children to Heaven… THAT IS YOUR JOB!!! THAT IS YOU’RE ONLY…JOB! The rest just fills in the blanks… my brothers and sisters in Christ… I’m begging you… DO NOT… IN THIS WORLD… LOSE YOUR FOCUS…OF YOUR JOB …. TO GET TO HEAVEN…
G. Amen…

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