2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 2:1-12 (as built;1-8-17;Amite #244)

“Close” ( as in getting closer, close enough …. )
… The year is 1861… and our country is about to embark on a Great Civil War…. Yes, my Brothers and Sisters, the north vs the south… Everyone is choosing up sides… well, almost everybody… except for three men… Bigo, Lister & Mester… these three men, have something in common… call it fight against germs, disease, bacteria or virsus…. The common thread… is they feel, that these ‘diseases’ are affecting them personally… let me explain… Bigo is a manufacturer of beer during the civil war…and no sooner than he makes it, barrels it… by the time it reaches its destination…. It spoils! Nobody drinks it, and nobody is paying for it… they just pour it out…. And he is losing 100s of 1000’s of dollars… Lister is a physician by trade and he has realized that during this time frame… 50% of all operations end… in death… 50%!!! And Mester, well his son was bitten by an animal and is extremely sick, close to death… you see, they are not aware of rabbis at this time…. They are searching for answers!!!!! Yet, everyone they ask… they get little to NO HELP!!!! But they hear of a guy, a professor , young man about 30, who has also lost a child… who may be CLOSE to being able to answer their questions… their worries…. So they approach him, knowing that he is a little eccentric… a little different… buy nobody questions his knowledge base that’s for sure… his name, Louie!!! He, Louie tells bigo, the problems is not that the disease has led to germs, as the germs lead to the disease, even to his been going sour… just heat the beer to a certain temp, for a certain amount of time and you will be good to go…. Sure enough, Bigo is back up and running! To Lister, the MD, he asked how often do you wash your hands before an operation… once he did this, the fatality rate dropped from 50 to 5% !!! And to Mester, he told him they may have an antidote for his son…it has proven successful!!! Mester asked, so how many people have you cured….? People, asked Louie? Well…..none… but I have cured about 50 sheep and few rabbits… the vaccine worked on Mester’s son! Yes you know Louie…. And he was CLOSER than anyone about teaching us about Pasteurization!! And yes you know Dr Lester… as Dr Listerine !!!
THAT IS WHAT THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT… BEING … CLOSE!!!
Just like these 3 men here… the 3 Wise Men… Malicoir, Balthazar and Gaspar…. Malicoir, the oldest, was from Media w/ Myrrh… Balthazar, (dark skinned) was from Parthia and he brought the Incense… and the youngest was Gaspar, (lt brown) from Mesopotamia who brought the Gold! ACCORDING TO TRADITION… they traveled about 500-1000 miles…it took about 5-1 years to travel… they did not speak the same language and they came from different areas and met on the way… and IF THIS IS NOT BAD ENOUGH… they were following a STAR!!! Not an Angel, speaking to them… but a STAR! One that moves, disappears, reappears…etc… HOW MANY OF US COULD HAVE PULLED THAT OFF… take your family, friends, etc…pick up your belongings and follow a STAR!! Once the Wise men get to Jerusalem…the STAR DISAPPEARS… (because if Herod sees it… he will find the Christ child; so he and the people in the City must have been blocked…hence, why would have the Wise Men stopped and talked with Herod…Herod was and is, a butcher…a murderer! You would not have risked it!Why ask the King of the Jews…herod’s title… about a new born…King of the Jews) and then the STAR reappears after they leave…and finally settles on a house of …
What about the Shepherds… they leave their flocks… because the Angel called them to see the Christ Child… JUST SO THEY WOULD BE CLOSE… TO the Christ Child!!!
SCRIPTURALLY…. There are people who risked a lot …. Just to be close to Christ… take John the Apostle… granted he is the youngest… but lets not forget his courage… to follow Christ during the crucifixion… do you understand how much courage that took… I mean, they are crucifying his Master… what’s to keep them from doing that to him… at the same time… I mean, its only a few more pieces of wood!!! What about Joseph of Arimathea … he wanted to be so CLOSE to Christ… he gave up his tomb… just to keep him in the neighborhood!!! You don’t think people who were against Christ, did not give Joseph of Arimathea the WHAT FOR!!??? Even MM, wanted to be next to a ‘dead savior’ versus live people… just wanted to be CLOSE TO HIM… even if it meant being harassed by solders she knew all to well… being out alone… not to mention… standing outside a big rock… all just to be CLOSE TO HIM!!!…
Let’s SEE… last year…. Did we spend more time reading the front page or the sports page… or reading SCRIPTURE?! Did we spend more time in front of the computer, reading emails, etc… or in FRONT OF THE CROSS!!! Do we spend more time getting ready for work…or school… or MASS?! Speaking of Mass … did we make all the obligatory Masses last year…? ‘Or just most of them’! (Make a symbol of quotes around most of them…) Did we make any more Masses or just the obligatory ones…? What about Confessions… how many times did we go to Confession last year…? Can we count on one hand…? If so, we are ‘going backwards’! At least once a month…
BROTHERS AND SISTERS…WE ARE EITHER MOVING TOWARDS CHRIST OR YOU ARE MOVING AWAY FROM HIM!!! YOU ARE NEVER …NEUTRAL…NEVER!!!!! (Point to the Cross!!!)
MY FRIENDS IN CHIRST… I am not speaking here about a new year’s resolution to get back to the gym… a new year’s resolution to get in shape…or lose weight… this journey HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR BODIES…AND ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH OUR …. SOULS!
I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS…. “if you are too busy to pray, or if you are too busy to read Scripture… then you are BUSIER than God had intended”!!
AMEN!

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