2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 20:19-23; 5-20-2018 (As Built; Amite #306)

  1. Courage…Courage…
  2. It’s the early 1940’s…His name is Carlos… Carlos is one of three children…He lives in Oklahoma… His mom is the quintessential mom… she can do it all and does do it all… His dad is well initially a man of the Army… And then from their he leaves and becomes a mechanic… truck driver… bus driver… kinda a jack of all trades… but pretty good at what he does… And eventually they gotta break the bad news to Carlos… His mom and dad come in and tell them Carlos… we got some bad news… We’re gonna have to leave…we’re gonna have to move to Arizona… Man… Carlos’s world is about to go south… You see Carlos… if you ask him he’ll tell you… I am quintessential introvert… I mean it takes me forever to warm up to people…to have neighbors…to have friends …to go here…to go there… Now I have to go back to school and start all over… And he told his parents… I am unathletic… unattractive… I am uneducated… unartistic… He said I am the poster child for object mediocratic… And now were moving… He said son… your gonna have to learn to plant your flag… take courage… Low and behold they move to Arizona… And if things can’t get any worst they move in next door to Billy … the local bully… And he will tell you… everyday come 3:00 he said he would watch the clock… he said man once it got past the 2:00 hour the fear…the trepidation… the anxiety… the worry… Because come 3:00 when that bell rung… it was a foot race to see if he would get home on time… And he would tell you he didn’t always make it… and he said it was ugly… Somedays twice a day … he said man it was wearing him out… One day Mr. Jack the local man who owned the gas station sees this event everyday 3:00…it’s hard to miss… The bells ring… and it’s a foot race… And he goes and he tells Carlos’ mom… look this time will you do me a favor and not come out… let me talk to him… Well this time … man he waits for the bell…It rings and here comes Carlos flying around the corner… he grabs him … He says Carlos… I need to speak with you… You know Mr. Jack… I don’t have time… I have to run… you know things are happening… gotta move… He said… listen to me… He said… you gonna have to stop and plant your flag… Your fault…my fault… nobody’s fault… you gotta finish this… otherwise it’s gonna haunt you for the rest of your life… Trust me… it’s gonna turn out better than you think… well he didn’t even get the words out and here comes Billy… He doesn’t even bother introducing or saying anything Mr. Jack he just buts in… And can I tell you… they begin… It’s a little free-for-all… their rumbling tumbling…falling over each other… kicking and screaming … But this time…this time… this time Carlos gets the upper hand… and boy does he make good on it… He’ll tell you this day… if it hadn’t been for Mr. Jack sticking his hand out and helping him plant his flag … to have courage… to grow in confidence… to have a better understanding… he wouldn’t be where he is today… And let me tell you…he’s come a long way… For a guy who didn’t know how to defend himself he eventually got a black belt and man he does well with it… So well he’s like for the 1970’s he is the middle weight champion for the United States for like 10 years running… He’s so good Bruce Lee gets him… starts being in his movies… He’s in things like Enter the Dragon… He was in movies Eye for an Eye… Good Guys Wear Black… of which yall know absolutely none of the three I just told you…more importantly you don’t watch karate movies… but that’s ok… Man B&S in Christ next thing he does he decided that he would do his own… So he does movies like The Octagon… and then he did another one called Delta Force… But you know him as a Texas Ranger… You know him as The Texas Ranger my B&S in Christ… And if you show up at my house with me and my mom we’re gonna be watching a boatload of it… So I can tell you… Yeah my B&S… you know Carlos… As Chuck Carlos Norris…And there in lies the point … It’s all about Courage…
  3. That is exactly the point the Good Lord is driving home… you think about it they are locked in a room… The Good Lord has been crucified and now all of a sudden man they lack courage… First words out of our Saviors mouth… FIRST WORDS… Peace… Peace be with you… and because they too were Thomas’s… look at my hands and my feet… Now remember if you’re a first century Jew… make sure you understand the setting… If you are a first century Jew… you and I would Celebrate 7 festivals… 7 being the most complete number in the world… 7 days of creation… 7 years to build the temple… 7 is important to them… B&S in Christ of the 7 festivals 3 of them would require you and I to travel… as a result you would travel… you and I would travel to Jerusalem for Passover… we would travel again for the feast of weeks… and then we would make one more towards the end of the year… Now B&S in Christ why is this important… because Pentecost to a Jew is called feast of the weeks… and here’s what it means… that they have a… a fall harvest… a spring harvest if you will and as a result of it… they would offer up their best fruits… 50 days after Passover… last supper is Pentecost… and you know why that’s important to them… because they know all too well… whenever a Jew hears the word fire.. and tongues of fire came on the apostles… they would go all the way back to Exodus… when they know that when Moses went up the hill to get the 10 Commandments… Fire came down… B&S in Christ so they know God is present when they hear fire… Hence the Holy Spirit… so for a first century Jew to hear about this on Pentecost… which coincides with the feast of weeks on the 50th day… now… as good Catholics… it also means something more to you and I… you see B&S in Christ from the Passover and Last Supper to the Ascension of our Good Lord is 40 days… 10 days later on the 50th day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit… the birth of The Church… the nine days in between… is the Novena… the nine day novena….. that’s where you and I get it from… because he gives us courage B&S in Christ to persevere…
  4. Now B&S in Christ GO BACK REMEMBER WHAT THE GOOD LORD TELLS THEM… PEACE BE WITH YOU… he does it twice… B&S in Christ and then he BREATHES ON THEM… DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY HE BREATHES… because they’re Thomas’s… THIS IS WHY THE BELLS RING AT MASS… SO THAT YOU KNOW WHEN HEAVEN AND EARTH HAVE TOUCHED… THIS IS WHY I USE OILS TO ANNOINT YOU LIKE I WILL AFTER MASS IF YOU STAY… so you know when the grace is applied… B&S in Christ THIS IS WHY WHEN YOU GET BAPTIZED WATER HITS YOUR HEAD SO YOU KNOW WHEN THE SIN IS REMOVED… a sign… a sacrament is an OUTWARD SIGN so you know what took place in turn of it… THIS IS WHY HE BREATHES ON THEM… SO THEY NOW KNOW THEY HAVE RECEIVED THE GIFT… and then He tells them something very profound… go out and hear their confessions and whatever sins you retain they’re retained and whatever you forgive are forgiven… B&S in Christ NO WHERE DID THE GOOD LORD SAY GO DIRECTLY TO ME… HE’S NEVER HEARD CONFESSIONS… ALL FORGIVENESS COMES FROM HIM… so do all miracles… my B&S in Christ… you know what’s amazing… and when you leave the confessional what do you hear so that you can hear it… your sins are forgiven… go in peace and sin no more… an outward sign… well B&S in Christ it’s ALL ABOUT THE COURAGE… if there is one guy in scripture that radiates courage… it’s gotta be Peter… you think about it… the Good Lord dies in 33… Peter dies in roughly the year 66… so for 33 years… HE IS THE VICAR… he is THE ROCK ON WHICH HE WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH EVEN CHANGED HIS NAME… HE THE FIRST PONTIFF… HE IS FOR ALL intense purposes HOLY MOTHER CHURCH… now think about it… for 33 years you’re for the most part quote “on your own” end quote… the point being is this… here is PETER… THE UPS AND DOWNS… THEY KNOW HE KNOWS THEY KILLED HIS SAVIOR… they’re gonna kill him… heck they beheaded James and he wasn’t even the Pope… B&S in Christ they know it’s a matter of time… and let me tell you this for the first 10 to 12... maybe even 15 Popes… they only last about 5 years a piece… because by the time they catch up to them the Roman civilization and find out who the next Pope is they’re… they’re martyred as well… Peter knows all too well what waits for him… so my B&S in Christ the story goes this way… Peter has caught word that they are going to crucify him… he leaves town and he actually leaves town through a path that not many people look for… and you know what’s amazing… who does he find along the way but the GOOD LORD… if you’re ever in Rome on a side note… there’s a little church called St. Mary’s… it’s about as big as this sanctuary… it’s at the intersection and I’m telling you… nobody stops at this church… I bet that there… I bet you that there parish is 25 to 30 people at best… you know what’s amazing B&S in Christ… I watched there and sat there one afternoon… I never saw a sign of the cross as they pass in front of that church… saw a lot of other signs… never saw the sign of the cross… you know what’s amazing… that in the walkway of the church… on granite… are two foot prints and this is where tradition holds that the Good Lord appeared to Peter who’s trying to leave because they’re about to crucify him.. and He tells Peter –Quo Vadis—and Peter stops… (Peter where are you going)… and Peter’s starting to say… well they’re coming after me… they’re gonna crucify me… and the Good Lord just starts walking back towards the city… and then Peter says well Lord where are you going… He said well Peter if you’re not gonna stay I need to go back and be crucified again… Peter returns to be crucified upside down… and do you know what his last words are… B&S in Christ according to tradition… Go in the Peace of Christ… that is courage…
  5. Well my B&S in Christ here you and I sit now 2000 years later… how much COURAGE DO YOU AND I HAVE TO BE DEFENDERS OF OUR FAITH… AND STOP APOLOGIZING FOR BEING CATHOLIC… WHEN YOU’RE AT WORK AND THEY ASK YOU TO PRAY WILL YOU BE THE FIRST ONE TO STAND UP AND SAY… I’LL LEAD IT… AND THEN WHEN YOU DO SO YOU MAKE SURE YOU SAY IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT… or you gonna give them one of these… you know you’re short on it so you don’t offend anybody… B&S in Christ will you break out the Hail Mary or you just don’t want to offend ‘em… you’re more worried about not offending then you are about not offending our Savior… or His Mother… B&S in Christ when are we going to stop apologizing for being Catholic… Please remember this… that at the time of our Savior… when He starts the Church… there are only two faiths in the world… you are either a Jew or you are Catholic… and if you go back to the Act of the Apostles… Catholic means according to the whole… and if you did these four things… you prayed together… you read scripture… you broke bread… and you sang songs… you were considered a Catholic… if you did not you were Jewish… there’s nobody else in the game for 1600 years… so it begs the question B&S in Christ why you and I are so apologetic about it… WILL YOU DEFEND THE BLESSED MOTHER AND HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO SO… WHEN PEOPLE SAY YALL WORSHIP HER AND NOT VENERATE HER… OR THAT SOMEHOW OR ANOTHER BEING A VIRGIN MEANT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN THE CONCEPT OF BRINGING CHRIST INTO THE WORLD… I mean you couldn’t touch a box that held the 10 Commandments the manna from heaven the staff of Aaron… but MAN JOSEPH CAN HAVE RELATIONS WITH HIS WIFE… YOU DON’T THINK JOSEPH KNOWS SCRIPTURE TOO… my B&S in Christ what is it going to take for you and I to defend our faith… when they come into your house… will they know that you are Catholic and unapologetically so… can they know you’re Catholic if they drive in front of your house and never step inside… my B&S in Christ we’re so worried about keeping our faith private that the world lives in public mayhem… look at the number of people… children that we have lost in schools because of what’s going on… out of the mouth of a student… We need to go back and pray more… that’s out of Santa Fe High School… My B&S in Christ… you know what’s amazing… we can talk about anybody and everybody… WHEN EVER WE WANT… WE CAN TEXT AND FACEBOOK… WE CAN SLANDER AND GOSSIP… WE CAN EVEN USE THE GOOD LORD’S NAME IN VAIN… BUT GOD DANG… DON’T BE SPEAKING ABOUT HIM IN A GOOD WAY… and there lies the problem… B&S in Christ have courage… to take… to do whatever it needs so that you can proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ… and remember the words of St. Francis… PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL EVERYWHERE YOU GO and only use words when you have to…
  6. And I leave you with this… my B&S in Christ courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the ability to overcome it…
  7. Amen.

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