2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 20: 19-31(as built; Amite #257; 4-23-17)

(Tongue….)
… It’s the 1950’s and his name is …. Phillip! Phillip was born in the UK and he is the only son of parents who were bakers…. They did ok, not bad, not great… they made ends meet… and if you were to ask Phillip about his grammar school days and or high school days… he would tell you that he was a social…. Social recluse! Later in life, Phillip would tell you….that he has a social disorder… he struggles with the public eye, too many people… he rather be alone… and this is AMAZING… being that he is SO POPULAR…AND A GREAT ACTOR!!! If you were to ask Phillip today about his favorite thing to do… he said…it is to drive from one end of the country of the US…from Calif to the east coast… living anonymously!!! Yet back in the day, he would be a recluse…choosing to draw, art, even play the piano…. And this is how he liked like…until he met… Richard Burton… his life changed on a dime!!! How he thought, he spoke…even what he wanted to do with his life…. ACT!!! So after his 2 years of service in the British army…which is required… he headed to the Royal College of Drama and Art… as a result of such he got a part in the stage production of Dance with Death, then Give Me a Cigarette! He then met Lawrence Olivia and the world soon took off… he got Movies like… A bridge too far, the Elephant Man, Change of Season, the Bounty…. They said Phillip was such a good actor…that even animals seemed to respond better to him than other actors…like in the movie, Legends of the Fall…. Then he was in the Mask of Zorro… Meet Joe Black… he even played Hitchcock in the movie, Hitchcock…. And if you were to ask Stephen Spielberg about Phillip…he would tell you… Phillip would probably practice his lines about 200 times each… so that they would seem second nature… Phillip believed that LESS WAS MORE…. The less you had to act, the better… the LESS THE WORDS, THE BETTER THE SCRIPT… so in a roundabout way, WATCH YOUR TONGUE!! So when he played the part of Hannibal Lector, IN SILENCE OF THE LAMBS… his career was off and running!!! You know him as Anthony Phillip Hopkins….and one day…. He was asked would he like to have lunch with Hannibal lector…he said, he would…to talk with him, see how he things… he acts…how he processes things…. So the interviewer asked again, so you would have lunch with him….and he responded…well of course… PROVIDED… I am not the lunch!!!
The GOSPEL TODAY IS ALL ABOUT BEING CAREFULL WHAT YOU SAY… WATH YOUR TONGUE!!! It has been over 2000 years, and people still know Thomas, as ‘DOUBTING THOMAS’…. All because of one statement… nobody remembers that he left to teach in India all by his lonesome, or that he was speared to death for being a follower of Christ!! What if Thomas does not say, ‘I will believe when I put my fingers in His hands and my hands in His sides’!!! What if Thomas says, when told that they saw Christ… what if he says, ‘wow, that’s great’…or ‘wow’…. Or better, what if Thomas says….. Nothing! Would we ever come to know him as “Doubting Thomas”!!! If there is one thing Thomas has taught us…is to watch your TONGUE!!! All it takes is one… slip ….of the TONGUE!!!
ADDIONALLY…. The GOSPEL… also has several IMPORTANT concerns … for example, the first word of Christ to His Apostles… was…. Peace be with you!!! What are the first words to you at the start of Mass… May the Peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always!!! We start the Mass….just as Christ started his first introduction to the apostles… Secondly… he ‘breathed on them’…. They felt the wind, in their hair, against their faces… their hands… (remember God did this to Adam to give him life…and now Christ does it to the apostles to give them life… a new life) and he tells them… the sins you forgive or forgiven, the ones you retain are retained…. The first sacrament HE delivers per se… the SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION!!! Do you see… there is no footnote… saying…go directly to ME…. Just skip the first part… go around them… its all about me and what I want…not what the Church says, or what Christ said!!! HE never baptized anyone or heard a confession…. Yet, we feel we are entitled to go around the priest… Hebrews 5… I will choose priest among men for the forgiveness of sins…no one is to take it upon themselves!! NO ONE!! Thirdly, do you realize too… that the difference between the action of the Apostles and Thomas… is the same… the only difference… the only difference…is Thomas opened his mouth… he waged his TONGUE!!! The apostles were behind a lock door…so much for believing in the resurrection…. They were sacred…once again they lacked the faith… and lastly…they took were shown the wounds…yet only Thomas makes the comment…. Wags his TONGUE!!! Also give Thomas so credit… he also makes the statement… MY LORD, MY GOD!!! He is the only apostle to make the connection between the OT God, MY LORD… and the nt God, MY GOD!!!... Kyrios and Theos….

******when Christ ‘breathed’ on the Apostles, did you know that Thomas was NOT THERE… so how did he come to receive the Holy Spirit!!! The Good Lord, can make things happen …like passing through a locked door… surviving the Crucifixion… He can also allow for the Holy Spirit to be passed on when He chooses to do so… like with Thomas!! Secondly, did you notice that Christ, when HE cures HE does so…COMPLETELY… let me explain, the lepers were completely cleansed, the dead rise totally, the blind see perfectly… yet, when He rose from the dead, he still had the wounds…??? Why??? In short, because He wanted His Apostles to know that this is the one in the same body, HE was crucified with …. That the wounds were left for their benefit… so that too would not…. Later on….. DOUBT!!! My Lord My God” as spoken by Thomas… it was not just to finish the paragraph, or end on a good note… it was stated because there are two heresy’s that had been promulgated back in the Day….one was Arianism which stated Christ was the ‘son of God’; hence, a lesser god…because he was the son… this is one reason why John added Thomas’ ending words, so people would know that Christ is MY LORD AND MY GOD!!! The Second heresy was called Docetism, which stated that the physical body of Christ was an illusion…, that the crucifixion only ‘looked ‘to have a real body on it… hence, that is why John wrote of Thomas literally …. LITTERALLY sticking his fingers in HIS hands, and his hand in HIS Side… to show that Christ had a real body… really a man… and was still, MY LORD AND MY GOD!!!
MY B & S IN CHRIST… THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF MANKIND… we have some great quotes… people who their TONGUES in the right way… for example…
“After signing the Declaration of Independence, this man said, “we better hand together, or we will surely hand separately”… Ben Franklin

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”… JFK
“In regards to luck, I have found the harder I work, the luckier I became”… Thomas Jefferson
“You do not win a war dying for your country, you win a war making the other guy die for his”… Patton
YET, for everyone good one…there is always one, which was better left unsaid… take Payton Manning… before the Super Bowl, he makes the comment that he used to dream of throwing a touchdown in the Super Bowl for the Saints… it was always a dream for him… well…. Guess what…he got his wish, when he was with the Colts playing the Saints a few years back in the Super bowl…. He through a beautiful interception, in which the Saints returned it for touchdown!!!!
Yet there is one man….who seemed to have a Blessed touch when speaking… keeping it easy… simple… less is more… for example… he made the following comments…
Everyone over 40 is responsible for their own looks…
In regards to soldiers going AWOL and then being sentenced to death… he said, “they can do more for us 6ft above the ground, than 6ft below”….
“nearly all men can withstand adversity, if you want to see the true mark of man, give him power”…
Its better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt
Abraham Lincoln!!!……………
h Well, it has been a busy year… for Anthony Hopkins…, and even more so for Thomas…but the fact remains…that we are all guilty of not watching … our ….TONGUE!!! How many times… do we make a comment…too sooooon!!! We have a thought, and out jumps the words…!?!?! Before we know it… we are cursing up a storm… we have used a word, straight out of the mouth of lucifer… the f bomb!!! Or equally worse, we asked God to damn it…!?!?!??! How many times…. Have we gone to work and complained about our spouse… and so they now see them in a much…MUCH DIFFERENT LIGHT… and we make up back at home… we don’t pass that on to the work crew and so they still have a bitter taste in their mouth about your spouse!!! How many times, do we take work home, and do the same with our spouse…about our coworkers??? How many times…have we responded with a text….email… facebook… and sent a message that was driven my emotions…passions and not our intellect?!?!? How many times will we back talk our parents… ?!?!? How many times will we gossip about someone… we will trach their reputation or destroy their character….justifying that is ok, because it is true!!?!?!? Don’t forget…the 8th commandment… bearing false witness…??? That we are called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ… loving our neighbor… and when we destroy ones reputation or character…it is called the sin of DISTRACTION… and it is MORTAL!!! So be ….VERY CAREFUL what you send via, Facebook, text or email…

Off the sins of the day… the most popular…yet damaging sins of our day…COME FROM THE TONGUE!!! Gossip, cursing, judging, and complaing…. For the next hour… just one hour… when you are having lunch… you cannot gossip, curse, judge or complain…. Have a great lunch!!I leave you with this…’a rudder steers a ship… a lose TONGUE will steer you life… what you say… watch that TONGUE!!!
AMEN!!

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