2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 20:1-9 (Easter Sunday; As Built 4-16-17, Amite #256)

‘Extra Mile’
…. The year was 33… I am the only Gentile living in the city of Jerusalem… I work the fields.. though I don’t make a lot… I love the work… I love the effort… a good sweat… but I truly LOVE the peace… my home is not much… it was made of cobblestone… did it myself… 10 by 10… a little table about so big… a small chair… thatch roof… and yes, at times when it rains… you may get a little damp and on a starry night… you can see the starts through the openings…. I have door, that it attached for the most part..but the boards are not too straight…so you really can see just who is knocking on the door… but you know I have not seem my buddy John, the apostle for the past day or so… The last time we visited was on Thursday… he took me to eat with his buddies… they called it a Passover meal… I got to meet the apostles… and the one they call the Savior…. But today something must have gone terribly wrong… there is a darkness that pervades the entire area… its like nothing I have experienced before… its more than just a ‘night time’… its almost 3 pm… its as if the darkness has a life… an existence… it has being a presence if you will… and the presence is definitely not a good thing…it is very unsettling…almost diabolical … then it hits…a massive earthquake struck our city… it destroyed my house, to say the least…and well, the city… there is carnage everywhere…building have been destroyed… even the temple… you can see even almost all the way through…many people are walking around as if they have been stunned… others are running frantically… and there are numerous dead… I begin to look for my buddy… John… and as I walk the streets…or what is left of our street… I see families going thru the debris… some crying hysterically… others are running as though they had seen the devil himself… I see john… and call out to him… I know I told you that John …. Is the essence of Love… he is ALWAYS in a good mood… always…today he is still in a good state…but he seems awfully troubled… he looks exhausted…but he greets me nonetheless with a great hug…that’s John… and he tells me that he is looking for Peter, for Judas… I remember meeting them both the other night… both were unmistakable meetings…but each for a different reason…. He tells me, to head toward the place that we ate dinner that night…he tells me there is a nice home… kinda of white washed rock… wooden roof… about 40 by 40, with a side room 10 by 10… their you will find the Most Holy Mother… Jesus’s mom… and MM, Mary of Clopas and a few other ladies… wait for him their… off I go… still trying to get over all the damage… others have the look of ‘just giving up’…bodies are still everywhere… but I see the house… when I knock on the door…a lady answers… she is stunning, very beautiful…normally I would not describe someone right off the bat this way…but she is exceptionally…but you can also tell she has carried a heavy load if you will…and it seems for awhile…she has become accustomed to it almost… she introduces herself as MM…she introduces the other ladies and tells me the Most Holy Mother is in the room… no sooner, she says this…that she comes out… WOW! YOU CAN TELL …THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT HER…I FELT THE SAME WAY WHEN I SAW HER SON… THE PEACE IS ALMOST TANGIBLE… SHE SMILES LIKE SHE KNEW ME MY ENTIRE LIFE…I JUST NOD… SHE RETURNS TO HER ROOM… AND BEGINS TO PRAY… She lies down in the form of a cross… I had never seen that before… the door closes MM tells me to make myself at home… the table is about 4 by 10… a few chairs…a table on the side… numerous candles on the side walls…a window….the construction is far better than mine… and there is no doubt…no but gets wet when it rains… then a knock at the door… it’s a lady caring a veil… MM knows her, they embrace…she shows her the veil…MM immediately begins to cry… almost joyfully…. She tells the lady… Let me get Mother…. We nod at each other… you can tell, she does not want to show me the veil… the Mother enters again… I’m telling you…if you were in the coliseum …and this WOMAN walks in…everybody …EVERYBODY WOULD KNOW…THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT HER… SHE RADIATES LOVE… PEACE…YOU ALMOST WANT A HUG FROM HER…AN EMBRACE… EVEN SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT… She sees the veil… WOW…ITS him… THE GUY I SAW THE OTHER NIGHT… AT THE DINNER… I’m not talking a picture.. a sketch… a drawing… rendition… I am telling you it was as clear as you and I talking now… you see me clearly distinctly, 3 dimensional … and so was this veil… Mother embraces it to her heart… they all begin to cry… the Most Holy Mother reminds them… remember, HE WILL RISE AGAIN… STAY IN THE DAY!!! I LOOKED at the other ladies…I could tell, they did not believe, were not sure…but seemed to smile at Her…as if to make her happy… BUT THIS WOMAN BELIEVED… I am not sure what to believe… SHE returns to her room…places the veil on the ground…and then puts her face directly on top…and lays in the form of the cross…and begins to pray again… MM said she has been doing this since Friday…NONSTOP… then John enters…with Peter… man oh man… I remember Peter… big, robust, his hands like catcher mitts… forearms were massive… you can tell this man works hard…HARD… he is stout… very thick… but then man before me seems to be just a shadow of the man I met at dinner the other night…he seems like a man who has lost his way…. Lost his soul…his will to live… he can barely stand upright… he must have been crying a lot… A LOT…he has creases in his cheeks…I swear it… MM…calls the Most Holy Mother to come … peter is here… She calls for him…peter does not budge…he cries even more…he drops to his knees…. She calls him again…he does not budge…he cries even louder…she calls him a third time…Peter come…finally she walks out and calls him yet again..he walks to her on his knees…he is so crushed…. She embraces him like you embrace a small child…she totally wraps her whole being around him…and he tells her… I denied your son…three times… he looks up at her…and he whales… she wipes his tears…and tells him…Peter…he makes all things new… he loves you… and forgives you…. But he can’t yells peter…she is a voice, that seems to come from heaven…so angelic… I know my son, and he told me to tell you…you sins are forgiven go in peace… she shows him the veil… he cries again… but she says he already knows peter… be at peace… she leaves to go pray…peter goes to the corner…slouches down…covers his head…and just seems to whimper… John tells Mother, that Judas has hung himself…it looks worse than one could imagine… night has come…they all become quiet… light few candles…but you can tell…there will not be much sleeping tonight… I go for a walk… staying close by… the Romans have increased the patrols… I’m a gentile… I have no rights… I have the right to get arrested, beaten, spit upon and jailed….just because… yet I know the Mother is still praying… I can hear her… the next morning… MM gets up and ask who would like to go to the tomb…you can see the expression…why bother… she sees the look and responds…she would rather be next to dead savior than live people…and off she goes…knowing there is a big rock in the way, sealed with lime and wax…not to mention guards..but she is determined…THAT WOMAN IS GOING THE EXTRA MILE … within 40 minutes she comes storming back…telling us HE HAS RISEN… john does not know what to think… Peter picks his head up …not sure what to believe… John is off like a shot… then Peter gets up…I go with him… John gets to the tomb and stops…and literally waits for Peter… then I realize peter is… is first, prominent…prothos…THE APOSTLE.. hence why is name is listed first in the list of apostles…judas last….the first APOSTLE… to call him, the SON OF THE LIVING GOD… THE FIRST TO DO A MIRACLE…PREACH THE GOSPEL… CALL A CONFERNECE…DECIDED BETWEEN THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN JEWS AND GENTILES… he waits for peter to enter…peter stops at the door… he leans against the wall…peeps in so to speak…like he is afraid of what he might see…WHAT HEMIGHT NOT SEE… his face says is all… COULD THIS BE TRUE!!!!!??? …. When they return back to tell HER… She tells them… Remember HIS WORDS… I WILL AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY… ALL BECAUSE SHE WENT… THE EXTRA MILE!!!
B & S… that is the Gospel…. This Easter Sunday….! It is about GOING THE EXTRA MILE …do you ever asked yourself…what does MM, Peter, Longinus, Simon of Cyrene…. why are all these people tied to the Crucifixion, the Tomb…it is JUST A DEAD END…THEY ARE JUST GOING TO BURY THEMSELVES…it goes nowhere….yet, if MM DOES NOT GO TO THE TOMB, SHE DOES NOT BECOME ST MARY MAGADLENE…THE FIRST TO SEE THE RISEN CHRIST…IF PETER DOES NOT GO TO THE TOMB…HE DOES NOT BECOME THE FIRST VICAR OF CHRIST, THE FIRST POPE…UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH….IF LONGINUS DOES NOT STAB OUR SAVIOR WITH HIS SPEAR…HE WILL NOT BECOME ST LONGINUS …NOR WILL HE GIVE THE SPEAR TIP TO THE MOST HOLY BLESSED MOTHER WHILE ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS (According to tradition….)if Simon of Cyrene does not help Jesus carry the cross to His Crucifixion and subsequent burial in the tomb…nobody will ever realize that the GOD WILL ALWAYS SEND SOMEONE TO HELP US…IF HE CAN SEND SIMON TO HELP HIS SON…HE WILL ALWAYS SEND US SOMEONE…EVEN IF WE DON’T EXPECT IT…OR ACCEPT IT…HE WILL ALWAYS SEND SOMEONE..AND THAT SOMEONE MAYBE US….
B & S…the point is simple ….we cannot have the Resurrection…WITHOUT…the crucifixion… we cannot have NEW BEGINNINS….WITHOUT SACRIFICE…. Our Savior told us…Pick up your Cross and follow me… I will BE WITH YOU UNTIL THE END OF TIME…I WILL NOT…WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANS….GO THE EXTRA MILE!!!
WELL TODAY…WE NEED TO REMEMBER…. WE MUST GO THE EXTRA MILE… let me explain…. You are NEVER NEUTRAL…YOU ARE EITHER GOING FORWARD OR BACKWARD…YOU ARE NEVER NEUTRAL…IF YOU GO TO THE SAME NUMBER OF MASSES AS LAST YEAR, THIS YEAR…YOU ARE GOING BACKWARD… IF YOU GO TO THE SAME NUMBER OF CONFESSIONS LAST YEAR, AS THIS YEAR YOU ARE GOING BACKWARD…. IF YOU PRAY THE SAME LAST YEAR AS THIS YEAR…YOU ARE GOING BACKWARD…. B AND S… ITS VERY SIMPLE…. IN EVERYTHING YOU DO…YOU SAY… YOU ACT UPON…YOU ARE EITHER GOING TOWARD CHRIST OR AWAY FROM HIM…. DON’T YOU SEE, YOUR FAITH…YOUR CATHOLIC FAITH IS ALL YOU HAVE… PERIOD!!! THIS YEAR, YOU MUST BE NOT JUST A BETTER MAN, BUT A BETTER CATHOLIC MAN… YOU MUST NOT BE JUST A BETTER WOMAN, BUT A BETTER CATHOLIC WOMAN… A BETTER CATHOLIC YOUNG ADULT, A BETTER CATHOLIC DR, CATHOLIC LAWYER, CATHOLIC TEACHER, CATHOLIC BUSINESS MAN OR WOMAN, CATHOLIC TEACHER, CATHOLIC COMPUTER ANALYIST … ALL YOU AND I HAVE IS OUR FAITH. OUR CATHOLIC FAITH… THIS IS NOT SOMETHING YOU AND I PUT ON JUST ON SUNDAY… ALL YOU AND I OWN…IS OUR SOUL!!!! PERIOD!!! AT THE END DAY, WE WILL STAND BEFORE HIM NAKED AND ALONE… ALL WE WILL HAVE IS OUR SOUL… OUR ACTIONS WORDS, ETC… AS SUCH, OUR FAITH… FOR 1600 YEARS YOU ARE EITHER CATHOLIC OR A JEW….MAYBE A PAGAN… Mother church is true… so if she is true, if she will lead you to heaven… then why would you take counsel with anything else… you came in the world on this day, and will go home on this day, no negotionas, arbitration, mediation, etc… that’s it… and all you have is your CAHTOLIC FAITH…SO WHY WOULD YOU NOT….MAKE IT PART OF EVERY TALK, ACT OR THOUGHT…YOUR SOULD DEPENDS ON … AS IT DID FOR MM GOING THE EXTRA MILE, VERONICA AND LONGINIOUS… PETER TOO… GO THE EXTRA MILE!!!
I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS…PERSERVERE ON THE ROAD TO HEAVEN, GO THE EXTRA MILE…THERE IS NO TRAFFIC ON THE EXTRA MILE!!
AMEN!!!

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PSR 2019 - JUNE 10TH - 21ST