2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 10:1-10 (Amite # 257, as built 5-7-17)

‘Name’ (names in the book of LIFE…)
… It’s the 1980’s… and his name is Eugene! Eugene… lives in Wannatka, Illinois… his dad works for CBS as a Radio Station Manager… his mom, well she is the quintessential mom….she has to be… raise 7 kids in the 70/80s… four girls, three boys…. And they are a CATHOLIC FAMILY… and so, Eugene went to Loyola Academy… and on graduation he was told he was getting an award…. He was so excited, he went home and told his folks… about the reward… they begin to think… valedictorian… salutatorian… no probably not…. Maybe most popular… most like to succeed…well, Eugene won… Most likely to run off and join a circus!!! This is in large part… because Eugene was doing commercials for tv in high school… you see, Eugene… was not very big… here he is 16/17…. Just a little over five feet tall, and barely 100lbs… so it was easy for him to play the part of a 8 or 10 years old…and with the maturity of a 16, well it was a slam dunk…an d so, EUGENE MAKES A NAME FOR HIMSELF…. By doing a McDonalds Commercial with Michal Jordan…and the world was opening up…but Eugene’s folks told him, he was going to college…so of to Boston College he went…graduating with a degree in marketing…. But then the world of tv, Hollywood began to call… Eugene got a bit part in “Men don’t leave’… which led to another part in Fried Green Tomatoes… which led to parts in Vertical… Scent of a Woman with al Pacino…where Eugene plays the part of glorified baby sitter for an army general who has gone blind… al Pacino… it is excellent by the way… and then his NAME caught producers attention…. So when the Batman movies started to come about…it boiled down to him and Leonardo DiCaprio who play in the series…the producers could not decide…so they interview numerous 11 year olds…and asked…who would a fist fight between Eugene and Leonardo… and Eugene won hands down…. So in Batman Forever, the part of robin when to Eugene… and then off to tv land where Eugene played in gray’s anatomy and now NCIS, LA…. Yes you know Eugene… Chris Eugene Odonell…. …and all because he made a NAME for himself….
The GOSPEL… is all about ‘Names’… how well did we listen… the Good Lord was called by 5 names… He is The Shepherd, the Gate, the Voice, Life, Abundant… and of course, HE is THE LAMB… however, there was ONE name HE was not… the Gatekeeper… you see, if you and I had lived in the day… we would have been as gentiles, shepherds or slaves…or both…so during the day we shepherd…at night, as a small group or town, we would all gather our sheep into one area… behind a small rock fence only a few feet in height… we would hire out a shepherd/gatekeeper to watch all our flocks in one night…the following morning we would go by the gate…he would open it… and we would call our sheep and head to our respective fields… because they know our voices… you see my friends in Christ… this whole Gospel is about… recognizing HIS voice…and by doing that we have our NAMES IN THE BOOK OF LIFE…
Now let’s make sure we understand… the setting…. If you are a first century Jew…. This gospel rings true to our ears…first, the lamb means a lot to each us literally and spiritually… we need the animals for food, clothing… wool… and milk…and we need the animal for spiritually… the offering up of a lamb for sacrifice… secondly; as a community we probably would have constructed a pen for the lambs… about so tall, using rocks to build the wall… containing the lambs within the fence… we would then hire someone to watch overnight the lambs… and then in the morning… we would stand outside and call out our sheep…by NAME…. and lastly, the point Christ is making about those who climb the walls…are robbers and thief’s… every Jew there knows’ that the prophet Ezekiel… spoke about all… “”ALL shepherds before Christ… are robbers and thieves… the blind will never see, the lame will never walk, the lost will never be found…until this one comes, the MESSIAH…and he WILL GATHER ON THE DAY… that is overcast and cloudy…””’… the day of the crucifixion!! For it was overcast, cloudy and about to storm… and even earthquakes!
THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE…. NAMES ARE JUST THAT IMPORTANT… if we don’t … recognize HIS VOICE…we will not have our names written in the BOOK OF LIFE… REMEMBER, the couple in the garden… man and woman…not adam and eve… they don’t get their NAMES until they leave the garden…for they have sinned… hence, they are now accountable for their actions… hence, they have a NAME… take the story of Lazarus…You know, the poor guy, who was trying to eat the scraps off the rich man’s table.. and the dogs would lick his wounds… well they die on the same day…LET ME REMIND YOU…THIS IS NOT…IS NOT A PARABLE… WHEN THE GOOD LORD GIVES SOMEONE A NAME… ie, Lazarus… THEN THE STORY IS TRUE… NOT MADE UP… FOR THE MOST PART, WHENEVER THE GOOD LORD USES A PROPER NAME… HE IS TELLING YOU A TRUE STORY… soooo… when they die… Lazarus goes to Abrahams Bosom, the rich man to hell…because there was a ‘great chasm’ that NO BODY WILL EVER CROSS… and he is calling out to fr Abraham… send Lazarus to did his finger in water and place it on my tongue… fr Abraham says…NO… send him to my family to warn them… NO… send him to help… NO… (REMEMBER TOO… that Heaven is not open until the good Lord is resurrected and ascends into Heaven…hence, Joseph, Moses, Elijah are all in Abrahams’ bosom until then, hence why the rich man is calling out to him… to Lazarus…) … Lazarus has his name in the Book of Life…. But why don’t we know the rich man’s name… because he is in hell…and there is no need for names… and REMEMBER THIS… the rich man never killed anyone! How many times do I hear people say, when I ask them about the commandments…? I never killed anyone…as if, that is the only mortal sin that can condemn ones soul!!!
My B & S in Christ… throughout SCRIPTURE… NAMES PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE… THINK ABOUT IT , NAMES… are significant… Jacob becomes Israel, Abram becomes Abraham, Saul to Paul and of course… Simon becomes Peter
WELL, ITS 2000 YEARS LATER… the question for you and i… ARE OUR NAMES IN THE BOOK OF LIFE… well, let’s see… is our NAME TODAY… sanamonous with … the apostle Thomas… before the sticking of his hand into the side of Christ… we doubt everything, and anything… we question everything… it’s the Church’s fault for not teaching me… you know they did a bad job… and SO??? What are you doing about it… OR are you like Thomas after the hand incident… where you are willing to die for your faith, speared to death as it were…. ……….. is your NAME sanomously with MM… early on in her life when she had all 7 demons… and its everybody else that is wrong… not me… I have no problems.. its everybody else… YET there is carnage everywhere… OR are we like here in that we are so dedicated to our faith, to mother church… that we too will see Christ some day… are we … like the lepers back in the day of Christ… are we like the one leper, who have way to Jerusalem finds out he is cured…. STOPS AND TURNS AROUND…just to go back and say, THANK YOU… or…we like the other nine who just keep going about their business, thinking… we will say thank you later… which one are we… will be STOP what we are doing to make sure we THANK the responsible party…not just a text or email…. But a call, or letter or better yet… STOP AND TURN AROUND AND GO BY AND SAY, THANK YOU… which are we??? Are we like Longinus… the one who speared Christ… before or after the spearing… before we dislike everybody… might means right… I have the power…and I will use it like I like it… period…or after we stab Christ… we become a follower… so much so… we walk away from our prior ways… even for him, his way of life…to follow the WAY…
I leave you with this… do you want YOUR NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIFE..YOU R SPOUSES NAME…YOU CHILDREN… YOUR PARENTST, GRANDPARENTS… oh please remember this…if nothing else today besides me screaming LISTEN TO ME, PLEASE…. PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS…. all you and I own…. Is our SOUL!!! AND THAT SOUL HAS A NAME…. YOUR NAME, MY NAME…
I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS… the evil will call you by your sin… Christ will call you by your NAME…LIKE LAZARUS… LAZARUS COME OUT…provided…PROVIDED…your name is in the BOOK OF LIFE… GUARD YOU NAME…ITS ATTACHED TO YOUR SOUL!!!
Amen!!!

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