2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 11:25-30 (As built; 7-9-17; Amite #266)

“Humility”
… It’s the 1970, 80’s….and his name is Michael! He is 1 of 5 children; his parents are entrepreneur’s… they had a pool hall, lunch place, even an cleaners…. And without question, they are Catholic…. Michael attended Mt Carmel grammar school… and an Academy High School… which allowed for boarders…. And in HS, Michael would tell you….well that things didn’t always go so well! You see, Michael…is quite short… and that does not transcend sometimes too well into athletics… nor does it always play out for the dating scene… he did get into a couple of plays… St Frances & the Billion Dollar Saint…. Eventually Michael would tell you and I…. this didn’t seem to be the answer he was looking for….so when graduation came… he needed work…he needed some money… so his sister asked him to come work as a hairdresser…. He was sent to school…and when he opened the door to his first class and saw 40 women and 2 men…. He said, he knew he was in the right place….And he was a…. BIG HIT!!! Michael…had the personality…. He made everyone feel like a King or Queen for the day… his sisters business was growing leaps and bounds… You see, that’s Michael…always putting others ahead… well, he was doing so well, that his sister wanted him to work on doing the make-up thing… so she sent him to a Drama Studio to help the performers with their makeup…and was Michael an even BIGGER HIT….so much so, he decided to try his hand at acting… and parts came… then the one that took him to the next level… One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest…. And then the world of Michael took off… Romancing the Stone, Throw Mama from the Train, Terms of Endearment, War of Roses, and Jewel of the Nile…. Twins and Batman Returns as the Penguin…. But his best, was the sitcom, TAXI… yes you know Michael, as Danny Michael DeVito…. Who once stated, to love someone; is to put them first…. HUMILITY!!
THE GOSPEL IS JUST ABOUT THAT… HUMILITY …. My friends in Christ… listen to the words of our Savior… “If you are labored… burdened… take My Yoke upon you … for I AM, meek and humble of heart”… remember now, as a first century Jew… you know that the last four cities Christ visited…did NOT result in a good outing… Choar-zin, Caperna-um, Beth sai –da… and now they are witnessing Christ being responded too in a Very Positive Way…. Praying to HIS Father, in such a way… that they are on equal terms, so to speak… no one knows the Father except the Son, no one knows the Son, except the Father… &…and Christ prays in such a Way, that HE tells of HIS Father as being Lord of heaven and earth…for a first century Jew…the only other time…the words heaven and earth were spoken, was in Genesis…Christ is pointing to the Trinity, from the very beginning….
And since HE is God, and from the very beginning…. Then if we try and be like HIM, meek…internally strong… and humble…. Then we receive HIS Grace….. So, if you and I were to take the word, yoke out and replace it with Grace… how does it sound now… Take My Grace upon you, for I AM, internally strong and Humble… and your burden will be MY burden which is light….
THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… there are many glowing references to people who show HUMIILTY … John the Baptist…here is a guy, who ate noting but locust and honey…wore camel skin…and his one job… PROCLAIM THE COMING OF CHRIST…. And when confronted that he may be a prophet, he said, I am NOT… when asked about being an apostle, I am NOT… or you the Messiah, I am NOT…. I am nothing more than a reed blowing in the wind…I must DECREASE AND HE MUST INCREASE…. Moreover, you know who also showed such Great HUMILITY… John the Apostle, the Gospel writer… lets go back to Easter Sunday… everyone is depressed… Christ died…they are alone… soon the soldiers will be upon them… just days before…John Witnessed his Savior…being butchered… 1000 wounds, a crown of thorns that would have killed Christ…without anything else… watch HIM carry a cross 12 ft tall, 8 ft wide… 6nails through HIS hands, and 16 inch through HIS feet… and in a matter of hours/days… while you sit around the house and mourn the loss of the Messiah… MM comes running it to tell you, HE IS ALIVE…SHE GRABED HIM….SPOKE TO HIM…. Can you imagine what it must have been for JOHN… I bet he was beside himself…wondering if this is true…could it be… can it be… John takes off like a shot…HE HAS GOT TO SEE FOR HIMSELF… and he leaves everyone in the dust… but he, JOHN does one thing amazing… when he gets to the tomb entrance… HE STOPS… DOES NOT LOOK IN…GOES NOT ONE STEP FURTHER… he waits patiently…humbly for Peter to go ahead of him…Peter is the Vicar, the Rock upon which I will build My Church…. Wow, tell me that was not the Pinnacle of HUMILITY!!! You even noticed that when John writes the Gospel, that he uses the term, the beloved disciple… he does NOT do this to draw attention to himself…it is just the opposite… he writes somewhat in third person… to draw attention , AWAY from himself…
WELL HERE WE SIT SOME 2000 YEARS LATER…how HUMBLE ARE YOU AND I… HOW WILLING ARE WE TO PLACE OUR SELVES 2nd..?!?!?!? ….before you go to work go home, take a call, email or txt… are you willing to say, I AM IN SECOND PLACE… THE OTHER IS IN FIRST…. When you go to work, and you are asked to do something you don’t care to do… will you say, I am a Catholic Christian… I am in second place… and you just handle it… if someone else will get the credit for what you will do…or did do… will you put others in front of you…. When you are heading home and get the call… will you immediately default to the second position…and stop and pick up the items… will you at home, set the table for others before yourself… clean the dishes of others before yourself…. Before you respond to an email, text message or get on the phone….. Will you put yourself in the second spot…. When someone approaches you with a problem and you know…it’s going to be awhile… will you put them first…and just listen… in lieu of brushing them off, or telling them about your problems…or worse, just throwing an answer at them, to get them off your back… are they the most important person in the world…..??? My friends in Christ, if you want Grace, to carry the load… each and every day… then you must be meek and humble… and humility is means taking the 2nd position, almost all the time…
I leave you with the words of CS Lewis…. Humility, is not thinking Less of Yourself; Its thinking of Yourself, LESS…. Amen!!!

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