2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 20:19-31 (AS BUILT; Amite, 4-8-2018, #300)

A. Escape…Escape…as in to run away…not solve the problem…
B. It’s the 1950’s … his name is Ronald…Ronald lives in San Quintin, California…He lives in San Quintin because well that’s where the prison is…He’s in prison…He’s sitting in his cot one day staring up at the ceiling…and Ronald begins to think…Man, how did I end up here…He begins to think of the days…he says what you know started out I did a little shoplifting…ok yeah…a few pieces…Yeah, yeah, ok yeah, that’s true I did steal more than a few things…and then yeah …ok ok…yeah… I did write hot checks…a few…and alright yeah…I carjacked several…And then well yeah…I did rob the store…or some…And then he said…man how it’s just amazing how quick life fell for me… And now all of a sudden here I am…I got two years left on my term…and man I just can’t take it anymore…It’s just the world is closing in…the walls…everything is a problem…And then his friend comes to him in prison…His friends name is Rabbit…And Rabbit says…Look, you and I work in the manufacturing shop…we make desk…we make chairs…we make credenzas…we make furniture…Tomorrow there will be an ordered placed for a desk…it’s gonna weigh close to 1000 pounds for this judge…You and I are suppose to build it…Here’s the deal…You and I…whatever we weight…it’s immaterial…If we can put ourselves in the desk late at night...close it in…When they bring the fork lift…it will never know there’s extra weight…You and I are gonna escape…it’s gonna be tomorrow...Man…all night long Ronald will tell you…man he just doesn’t know what to do…He said every time he’s given his life to somebody…they’ve always let him down…including...and most importantly himself…And he says even to this day…it may sound tongue-in-cheek to you now…but I decided that the only way I would ever escape this prison instead of with Rabbit who has like two life sentences back to back… The only way I’ll escape this Lord…is if You take control…He says he falls asleep on his cot…He doesn’t even make it to get there to make the desk…or to finish it…Rabbit finishes it and gets inside…and escapes…Thirty days go by…sixty days go by…ninety days go by…he’s still in the fab shop doing his thing…working off his time…And then the announcement comes over…that the one that escaped, Rabbit was caught…Got a speeding ticket…ran through an intersection…got into a big bru-haha with the policeman…shots were fired…he kills the officer…he’s now coming back to be executed… And man all of a sudden Ronald says man…if I hadn’t “given my life to Christ…if I hadn’t escaped through Christ”…I would be in the exact same spot…He said man the years went by…it was slow but finally his buddy…Kris Kristofferson picks him up to bring him home…He said him and Kris start talking …they start talking about different things and music is what they have in common…And then all of a sudden Kris introduces him to Dolly Parton…who introduces him to Johnny Cash…And next thing you know he’s coming up with songs…He had the theme song for Platoon…the theme song for the show called Radio…he did another theme song for Chisum…the western…of which none of you know a thing about…But that’s ok…As a result…he comes up with other songs…and brothers and sisters in Christ…he was called the common man’s poet…As a matter of fact…he came up with songs like…Momma I Tried…came up with That’s The Way Love Is…came up with Okie From Muskogee…And since very little of yall ever listened to country music I’m just gonna tell you…yes you know him…you know Ronald as Merle Haggard…my brothers and sisters in Christ…But he will tell you…that the only way to escape a problem…is to solve it…And the only way to solve it …and his words not mine…is Christ…My brothers and sisters in Christ…THAT IS EXACTLY THAT GOSPEL!!!
C. Think about what is going on…the Apostles are in the city of Jersusalem…This happens first and foremost on Easter Sunday…And then repeats it a week later…Brothers and sisters in Christ…they are in a locked room…thinking that they are gonna escape the persecution of the Jews…Persecution of Pilate…by simply locking the door…their version of escape…My brothers and sisters in Christ…the Good Lord walks through the door…He shows them immediately that He is Divine…By walking through a locked door…And isn’t it amazing that on Easter Sunday He’s got to show the Apostles His wounds…for they didn’t believe either…Brothers and sisters in Christ…this shows up a week later when Thomas is their…But make sure you understand…remember now brothers and sisters in Christ…Make sure you understand the whole concept…of Pentecost…Pente is ‘fifty’ as you well know…Brothers and sisters in Christ…from the Passover …the Last Supper…fifty days later is the feast of Pentecost…or the feast of the First Fruits…Where you and I came for the Passover Meal, the Last Supper if you will…And then fifty days later we’re bringing our first fruits to offer up to the Good Lord…So brothers and sisters in Christ…from the Passover Meal, the Last Supper, to the fortieth day when the Good Lord ascended in Heaven…Make sure you understand this my brothers and sisters in Christ…the next nine days after the fortieth day the Apostles are in prayer for Feast of Pentecost…Those nine days…that’s what you get and I get the nine day Novena from my brothers and sisters in Christ…Man it is Scriptural...as are all things of our faith…
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ…and remember if you’re a 1st Century Jew…and you hear the words…on the 1st day of the week…as a 1st Century Jew you immediately default to Genesis…On the 1st day “of the week”…that’s a Sunday…God creates Creation, or initiates it on day one…Hence the new creation on Easter Sunday…It’s not ironic…that all the big miracles took place on Sunday…the Resurrection…the Transfiguration…the Wedding of Cana…the Woman at the Well…Holy day is Sunday…Not any day you and I choose…And brothers and sisters in Christ…is it not yet amazing…that He actually breathes on them…to receive the Holy Spirit…Brothers and sisters in Christ…if you’re a 1st Century Jew…and if you didn’t catch the 1st day of the week…and then you heard that He breathed on them…Brothers and sisters in Christ…you go all the way back to Genesis…when the Good Lord breathes life into Adam… As a 1st Century Jew…how many consequences do you need to get it…My brothers and sisters in Christ…isn’t it amazing…that one of the first things that He starts…is Confession…Telling His twelve…eleven if you will… whatever sins YOU forgive are forgiven…and whatever YOU retain are retained…He never said skip yall and go directly to me…He never heard a Confession…He never Baptized either…He is initiating all gifts come from Him…that goes without saying…But there is a means to which to distribute the Graces…My brothers and sisters in Christ…and make sure too that you understand…brothers and sisters in Christ…at Pentecost…when they receive the Holy Spirit…please remember…now all of a sudden their journey begins…and they realize the only escape in this world…is through Him…
E. Say what you want about Thomas…about being a doubter…until I stick my fingers in His hands and my hands in His side…He did get speared to death my brothers and sisters in Christ…so here we sit my brothers and sisters in Christ… Go back through the history of mankind…Go back through Scripture…All our best players…all the people involved in the world…you have to make a decision…Are you gonna escape and solve the problem with Christ…or are you gonna try to solve it with your own means…with your own intellect…I mean because we got game…Were not like those 2000 years ago…We’re far more superior…we have more talents…we have more gifts…we have better science…we have better doctors…we better physicans, attorneys…and all the things that are needed…But at the end of the day…all things begin and end with Him…
F. If I could pick the seven wanted posters…I would take the seven deadly sins…Pride, Anger, Gluttony, Lust, Avarice, Sloth, and Envy…I would make a wanted poster for each one of these…Why…because they show to you and I 2000 years later what happens when you and I think we can solve our own problems…If we could solve our own problems…we would have already done so…My brothers and sisters in Christ…If you want to talk about Pride…it would be a poster child of Adam and Eve…they too wanted to be like God…If you want to pick Anger… I’d pick Cain…I mean why is he upset at his brother Abel…just because Abel brings his best fruit and you bring your extra fruit…because you save the best for you…Man he becomes the first murderer…Well maybe it’s Gluttony…you know like the rich man that wouldn’t feed Lazarus the poor man…let the dog’s lick his wounds…Man he’s a poster child… that mans in hell this day…Man well maybe its Lust…you know the one where John the Baptist was giving Herad the grief over you married your brother’s wife but you don’t care about the laws because I mean you’re a king Herad…Man is that where were at…Well maybe brothers and sisters in Christ it’s all about the money…that’ll be a poster child of Judas…I mean thirty pieces of silver…I mean the price of a slave…Well maybe it’s Envy…maybe it’s like Herad the Great…they referred to him as King of the Jews…I don’t care how many kids I kill…I’m getting to that Savior…so that I can keep my title…Man my brothers and sisters in Christ here you and I sit 2000 years later …My brothers and sisters in Christ…ask yourself these questions…WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE FOR YOU AND I TO UNDERSTAND…THE ONLY WAY TO ESCAPE THE WORLDS PROBLEMS IS TO SOLVE THEM WITH CHRIST…AND TO SOLVE THEM WITH PRAYER…HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR GONNA SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF YOUR CHILDREN…YOU THINK YOUR GONNA SOLVE THEM BY YOUR OWN MERITS… WE’VE SEEN WHERE THAT’S GONE… THEY HAVE FREE WILL… REGRETABLY… HOW ABOUT THE WORLD IN WHICH WE WORK IN… MAN ARE YOU GONNA SOLVE THOSE PROBLEMS BY YOURSELF…YOUR BOSS…YOUR COWORKERS… IF YOU HAD BEEN…YOU’D ALREADY DONE THEM…MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST…HOW ARE YOU GONNA SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF YOUR FAMILY…YOUR RELATIONSHIP…YOUR HEALTH…THE DOCTORS VISIT…THE TAXES YOU OWE…THE BILLS THAT ARE PAID…THE CONTRACTS…THE WORK…THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE…THE TEACHERS…OUR GRADES… BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST…DON’T YOU SEE…WE’LL NEVER SOLVE THE PROBLEMS ON OUR OWN…THAT’S THE WHOLE PROBLEM…WE THINK WE’RE JUST THAT GOOD…AND THAT GOD IS THE GREAT LOTTO KING…IF WE PRAY AT THE END OF THE DAY… AFTER IT’S ALL SAID AND DONE…WELL LOOK…YOU MIGHT AS WELL PRAY TO HIM…WE GOT NOTHING ELSE TO LOSE…WOULD YOU RESPOND TO THAT PRAYER…YOU’RE THE LAST PERSON AND NOT THE FIRST RESULT…DON’T YOU SEE…THE FIGHT HAS NEVER BEEN BETWEEN YOU AND I…OR BETWEEN US AND THEM…THE FIGHT IS BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL… IT’S WELL ABOVE OUR HEAD…SO IF YOU DON’T BRING THE GOOD LORD INTO THE EQUATION…THE EVIL ONE IN GOING TO DOMINATE OUR GAME…HE IS GONNA BE IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO…HE WILL GENERATE MORE ANXIETY AND WORRY IN YOUR LIFE…YOU COULDN’T STAY IN THE DAY IF WE COULD SPELL THE WORD DAY…We are so consumed with things that we think we can control… First we have to get our hands around it…Then we gotta reach out to people that we think that can help…Then we talk to those that may know a little better…if we can find those that our better than we are at this spot... And then we’re gonna try to put it all together and line it all up … And only pitch it to Christ…when all else fails…Brothers and sisters in Christ… We will never solve the problems of this world without bringing Christ into the equation… It was never meant to be that way…that you and I would do it on our own… Adam and Eve… Cain and Abel…Noah…Abraham… Moses… King David… King Solomon… all the way up to today… It all begins and ends with Christ… Nothing has changed in the world…
G. And you know what the greatest thing He’s given Mother Church…He’s given us the Sacraments…So that He can give you and I the Grace to fight the fight… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Do you understand that almost every Sacrament has and outward sign… Yet we make fun of Thomas…like oh he had to see the wounds…But brothers and sisters in Christ…have you ever asked yourself why the Sacraments have the outward signs…The water that I pour on your child’s head at Baptism… is that for the child?... is it for you and I?...It’s to let you and I know when the sin was removed…The water is the ancillary… it’s the outward sign of the inward reality…Brothers and sisters in Christ…why do you think the bells ring… The bells don’t do anything per se… other to let you know that Heaven and earth touch during the Consecration… Brothers and sisters in Christ… when you go to Confession… and your not going to yourselves…You hear the words… your sins are forgiven … go in peace…there’s the outward sign… you actually hear it…Brothers and sisters in Christ…when you get married you wear a ring…The outward sign that something has taken place inwardly… Why do you think you consume the host… so that it is something you eat internally… Brothers and sisters in Christ… HE GAVE US THE SACRAMENTS SO THAT YOU WOULD KNOW HE WAS IN THE GAME… Whenever you feel that you’ve gotten so angry …mad …temperamental … if you start to go away from our Savior… your moody…you curse more… I can tell you…You haven’t been to Confession… My brothers and sisters in Christ…how many times do you see me use incense at Mass… Do you not understand from the Book of Revelation… that petitions rise to our Good Lord like incense rises before His Throne…As angels incense His Throne singing GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST…Oh…Oh… I get it… You think I use incense just to make you cough…I tell you… some day I’m not gonna put any incense in it…I’m still gonna shake it… and your still gonna cough …and that’s gonna happen…
H. My brothers and sisters in Christ… I leave you with this… YOU WANT TO SOLVE THE WORLDS PROBLEMS… THEN THE ONLY WAY TO ESCAPE THEM IS THE SOLVE…AND THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE THEM IS TO PRAY FOR THEM… THE ONLY WAY TO GET ANYTHING OUT OF THIS WORLD…AND GET WHERE YOU NEED TO BE… AND TO LEAVE THE REST BEHIND…ESCAPE IT IF YOU WILL… IS TO BRING OUR SAVIOR INTO THE EQUATION… YOU GET SO MAD AT NIGHT BECAUSE HE’S NOT ANSWERING YOUR PRAYERS…YOUR SO EXHAUSTED AT NIGHT YOU CAN’T SAY ONE MORE PRAYER… YOU’VE PRAYED FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND THEN TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT ME AND SAY FATHER…WHAT’S THE POINT… YOU’VE PRAYED FOR THIS JOB AND YOU DIDN’T GET IT…YOU PRAYED FOR THE CONTRACT AND YOU DIDN’T GET IT… HE’S NOT LISTENING…HE DOESN’T CARE…HE DOESN’T EXIST…BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST… WHEN YOUR SO TIRED…YOU CAN’T PITCH IT ONE MORE TIME… ONE PRAYER OUT OF YOUR LIPS WHEN YOUR TOTALLY EXHAUSTED… AND YOU WANT TO THROW IN THE TOWEL… THAT’S WHERE THE FIGHT WILL BE MADE… FROM YOUR LIPS TO HIS EARS…
I. To escape means to solve it… and the solve it means to pray…to Jesus Christ…
J. Amen… In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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