2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 6:24-34 (Amite # 250; As built 2-19-17)

“Worry”
.. The year is 1943… his name… Jim! And Jim… is unmistakable … he is about 6 ft 8, about 240/250… and he has a distinct… walk, a swagger if you will…. Actually, it would be called a cowboy swagger! The reason for this…. Well… Jim was wounded in WW2! He would never tell you this… you see Jim is quite type…his brother Peter explained one day… that you see, Jim wanted to help serve the country during the war… so he asked to join the Air Force, but he was way too tall… so he went into the army… and was actually part of the landing force in Anzio, Italy… the US sent forces into Italy to break the back of Mussolini and Hitler… you know the landing boats they used, the ones when the approached the beach, the front would drop down and all the soldiers would run out… well, when they were getting close to the landing site… the Col yelled out to Jim, to get up front…and when Jim asked why… the Col said, well, being that you are so tall… and we don’t know how deep the water is…when you go running out… we will know just how deep the water is… if you drown…. Well, then it is too deep! And secondly the Col said… when you get to shore… remember, your job is to wipe out the machine gun nest first… Well Jim… couldn’t believe what he had just heard…but Jim was the guy… and when the door opened…he jumped in…and thank goodness is only came up to his waist…but when he hit the shore… there were several machine gun nest… one in particular was causing all kind of problems…it was on a farm overlooking the landing zone… the Germans were up in a barn, and the damaged they were causing was immense… well, needless to say, Jim was having an ANXIETY ATTACK… TALK ABOUT WORRIED!!! Jim grabbed a few of his fellow soldiers and headed toward the barn… Jim explained… that he would go around back… they would wait 10 min and open fire on the nest… all the while he would climb the back of the barn and enter from the rear… well, each step up the back side of the barn… Jim could feel his heart about to jump out his chest… his bones were shaking so much, he thought he would catch fire… he, Jim did not know how many Germans were in the nest, how much ammo they had… would his guys be able to distract them with their firepower… well, Jim was soooo WORRIED… that this may be his last hurrah!!! Well, his buddies opened fire…. And Jim busted in… hand to hand, guns going off… but in the end… it was a Big Success… and as he and his buddies were heading back to the shore to help the remaining guys fight their way off the beach… Jim his hit… in his right leg… so hard in fact… that it literally launched Jim into a stream… the wound was so large… that it paralyzed Jim… and if he had not been so tall, he would have drowned….he stayed in the water for 18 hrs!!! He started having flashbacks of his life… when he sang in the Church choir… going to college… when he got his draft notice…he was WORRIED… that it was all about to end… then …. A BLESSING… someone sees Jim and saves him… Jim stays in the hospital for a year…not a day, a week , not even a month… a year… and finally when he gets out, his walk, his swagger is definitely noticeable…. Well, after the war, Jim has a new WORRY…he needs work…you can only live in your car, at 6ft 8 for so long… well, Jims brother, Peter has a job in LA, he landed the lead in a show called Mission Impossible…and he wants Jim to get into show business as well… and introduces him to a man who says they are starting up a new western series…that man, John Wayne….and when he sees Jim he knows he is the right man for the job… John Wayne tells Jim that the series may not make it…but the series will be about a Marshall in western town… every show will open with him walking down Main street… with that cowboy swagger…hand on his gun… they will always have trouble down at the saloon, called the Longbranch… there will be a few other role actors… to help with the show… a doctor who is always moody, called doc Adams…there will be a deputy called Festus… and a lady who owns the saloon called Kitty…yes, all that WORRYING FOR NOTHING… the show last 2 decades, one of the longest running shows on tv…it was a big HIT… and is still even popular today… yes you know Jim, he is James Arness, and he played the part of MATT DILLON IN GUNSMOKE…!!! ALL THAT WORRYING, FOR NO REASON…..!!!
THE GOSPEL IS JUST ABOUT THAT… TOO MUCH WORRYING … 5 times Christ spoke about ‘worrying’!!!! And don’t forget… HE said 5 times, NOT TO WORRY AS WELL!! And so we keep things in perspective, the Good Lord is saying, no so much that you cannot have two masters… as you cannot be a SLAVE to one, and a Servant to another… another words, you can’t give me lip SERVICE AND SERVE ME… and be a SLAVE TO THE DESIRE OF MONEY!!! IN st pauls letter to timothy, he talks about the desire for money that causes sin, no so much money itself… and let’s make sure you understand what the Good Lord is driving at… to make sure you and I understand… he uses extreme cases… like a bird, which does NOT have a human soul… if a bird, cannot reap, sow, bind, or gather… yet I feed him, are you not worth more than a bird that has no human soul, but an animal soul!!! What about a plant… it does not even have an animal soul… and yet, I cloth them better than Solomon… so why do you WORRY, WHEN I TOLD YOU I WOULD BE WITH YOU UNTIL THE END OF TIME… I WILL NOT…WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANS!!!

D…THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… Martha and Mary, as well as Peter gives us a great example of WORRYING….for NO REASON!!! Mankind has been plagued with WORRY… Martha and Mary… are so beside themselves…that their brother may pass before Christ comes back…they send someone out to find Christ… two days before… RIDDLED WITH WORRY…yet Christ waits till day 4…and upon HIS return… what do they say… Master had you been here, our brother would not have died… and HE responds… Martha, Mary…. I AM… I AM… THE WAY, THE TRUTH , THE LIFE… I AM… THE RESURECTION… well, of course You are Lord, but that is on the last day… WORRY HAS CONSUMED THEM… that there is nothing the Good Lord can do now…their brother is dead!!! Yet their brother rises from the dead… all that WORRY… for NOTHING!!! Think about it… the first time Peter is in the boat, he is with Christ… he can see HIM in the boat… a storm arises… Peter tries to handle to no avail… even though he is a fisherman… and well, Christ is a carpenter… it is not like we need to make a boat… so he tries to handle… was a colossal blunder!!! Finally, he calls out to the Lord… who is asleep in the bow of the boat… Do you mind that we may parish… he was so WORRIED!!! And then the Good Lord, rebukes the wind… all is good! Yet, the second time he is with Christ in a boat per se, is when Peter thought he saw a ghost… calls out in a storm, if it is you Lord, tell me to come… the Lord responds, Come Peter! Peter begins to walk, within steps…he begins to falter… he turns his head and begins to sink…HE BEGINS TO WORRY, to say the least… and then do you know what happens… Peter calls out for help…and IMMEDIATELY, the Good Lord saves him… IMMEDIATELY… yet, the other 11 apostles, were right there and did nothing… the point being is this… the GOOD LORD was trying to teach Peter… and us… that Peter you believed in me, and did not worry to much we you saw Christ in the bow of the boat…but when he did not see ME in the boat…but out on the sea… Peter began to WORRY… WE WORRY WHEN WE DON’T SEE HIM…AND CHRIST IS TELLING US … I AM… ALWAYS THERE… I AM OMNIPRESENT… I WAS …IMMEDIATELY THERE FOR PETER AND WILL BE FOR YOU… DO NOT…DO NOT… WORRY!!!
E. So here we sit… 2000 Years later… how much time do we spend … WORRYING!!! With regards to anything, everything… do we WORRY about Money… paying bills, making the rent, a mortgage, a car note…going to school… trying to make ends meet… getting paid from a supplier… how much time do we WORRY about the organization we work for… are they doing the right thing, the right way… or we headed in the right direction… are we going to be with this company much longer… can they provide for me… do we WORRY about our relationships at work… with our boss, our co-workers, the owners, the suppliers… can we work things out, make things go smoother, can we co-exist… what about relationships at home… do we WORRY about how we relate to our spouse, our children, our parents, grandparents, relatives, etc… can we talk without yelling… can we talk at all, can we even communicate, are we honest, yet prudent… do we WORRY about test coming up in school, the doctor’s office… will we pass, will we get a clean bill of health… will we repeat, get a poor grade… my friends in Christ…HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND IN WORRY!!!
F. When you worry… you take counsel with the evil one! Don’t you see, the evil one…according to st peter…’roams the earth, prowling, for a soul to ravage’! HE HATES YOU AND I…. we are made in our Savior’s image… the mere mention of our name, causes the evil one to spit… one day, according to cs Lewis, Lucifer is speaking to his son about stealing souls…and his boy is all excited about getting souls for a little while, doing some damage, to a few souls at least…and Lucifer reprimands him, telling him…son listen to me… we need more souls, and much faster, and forever… and the way to do this… IS TO STEAL THEIR PEACE…GET THEM TO WORRY!!! Oh how true… he, lucifer wants to drive a wedge between you and yours spouse, family, work, relationships, may you focus on tomorrow, yesterday, last week, last year… next week, next month… My Friends in Christ… how many times have you heard me rant and rave …that NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS WORLD WITHOUT HIS KNOWING…WITHOUT HIS STAMP…. The Gospels tell us… that birds cannot sow, nor reap, nor plant… yet HE feeds them… the flowers cannot even dress themselves… yet HE dress them… are we not worth more than birds or flowers… we are HIS… HIS CHILDREN… and the evil know this…and he cannot stand it…A bird cannot fall to the earth without His approval…not one thing can touch your head…without His Approval… Scripture tells us…’He knew us in our Mother’s womb, He knew our name in our Mother’s Womb, and He will be with us until the end of time’…
G. If you leave this Church, thru those doors with the same worry you had when you came here…you have made ONE OF THREE MISTAKES…you either forgot WHOSE HOUSE THIS IS… THAT HE IS GOD AND WE ARE NOT…OR you just took it back…B & S...your thoughts control your words, your words your actions and your actions …set up your habits…if you have the habit of worrying…THEN YOU ARE NOT GUARDING YOUR THOUGHTS…who controls your thoughts…you…or the evil one!?!?!?!
H. Moreover, you told God, I DO NOT TRUST YOU!!!I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS… WORRY, CAN NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF TOMORROW…IT CAN ONLY ROB YOU OF THE PEACE OF THE DAY!!!I. AMEN!!

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