2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 13:44-52 (Amite # 266; 7-30-17)

“Fence”…. (riding the fence…)
Its 1980’s… and his name is Phillip! Phillip lives in Schenectady, NY … he is one of three children… his dad, Phillips dad is a body builder and his mom, the quintessential mom…. They are, Catholic! Granted to this day, Phillip would not be your poster child for Catholicism, but make no mistake about it, the boy is CATHOLIC!!! Well, unfortunately the family struggled…and so did the marriage… the parents separated and the mom and the kids moved down south, to Miami Florida…. Phillip attended Miami Beach HS….and Phillip will tell you he had two loves in HS… well actually one… boxing!! He loved it…. And he did a play once, called the serpent… and so he kinda of enjoyed it…but it was boxing that was his passion! By the time he finished HS, he was good at it… actually 27-3… 27 wins, 3 losses… the last loss, Phillip said… the guy hit him so hard, he had a concussion! …well it wasn’t long after that, he quit boxing and starting running the streets… drugs, alcohol, etc.…so much so, his sister stepped in and said, here is $400.00 go to New York and start acting…off he goes, one step ahead of the police… he gets a part in the movie, the Wrestler, then 1941, then a gambler in the movie, the Diner… well, the money was great…and so were the drugs… he decided that the only way to quit the drugs was to go back into the ring…the discipline of fighting…kept him clean… he went 6-2…but the money was lacking…. Way…lacking… so Phillip decides to head back to acting…the money was too great to pass up…and off he went… 91/2 weeks, the Pope of Greenwich village, the Rainmaker, Once upon a time, in Mexico, the Man on Fire, Iron Man, HD and the Marlboro man … Yes you know Phillip, as Mickey Phillip O’Rourke … and if you were to ask Mickey…he would tell you, what finally saved his life was getting off the fence with boxing, versus acting…thanks to his two dogs and his best friend, Father Petey !!!
THE GOSPEL TODAY IS ALL ABOUT PICKING A SIDE… GETTING OFF THE FENCE… 3 times He speaks about the ‘Kingdom of God…”…. Yet lets remember now, if you are a 1st century jew, the parables are important…very!!! Remember too, a parable is like a riddle of sorts…you need to look for the twist… what took place, that isn’t in the norm… what you and I would do…for example, you are walking down a dirt path…see a field, a treasure is exposed… would you dig it up, and bury it deeper …and then go sell all you have and buy the field…. That’s the TWIST…you and I would simply, just go dig up the treasure and take it with us, leaving the field!!! … don’t you see, the field is the Kingdom of God, you can’t dig it up, or take it with you…you have to make a decision, you are either ALL IN …OR OUT!!!
The second time, He references the Kingdom of God, he uses the purchase of a great pearl, so great…you sell everything, land, boat, nets, house to purchase it…. Does that seem logical…? That’s the twist; no matter how great you think the pearl is or worth doesn’t change the fact that if you give up your house, boat, nets, clothing for this pearl…you cannot… CANNOT live in the pearl, can’t fish from the pearl, it will not suffice for clothing, or replace your nets… SO THE PEARL IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD… you should give up everything to possess it, to enter it, to live forever within it….it may seen, MAY SEEN earthly foolish to give up all, but the Kingdom of God is the reward!!!
The third time, He speaks of the Kingdom of God… He is telling the Apostles, make sure you understand…you say you do, you better hope so…. when you walk the path, you better decide now, if you are ALL IN OR NOT… give up everything OR NOT… because MY angels will come scope all up in a proverbial net, and I WILL SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE BAD…and there will be, WILL BE the wailing of grinding of teeth… the Gates to Hell are wide, the gates to Heaven …small!!!
And just so you know… do you know why Christ is telling them about the scribes… HE just isn’t speaking just to speak, to fill the air with noise…He wants His Apostles to know that the scribes are great writers and interpreters of the OT… but now that I HAVE COME… and have taught you, you have gone to the Storehouse can come back even better than the Scribes, because you will speak not only of the old, OT…but the new, NT, as well….
Do not forget my B & S in Christ… you cannot walk the FENCE…you are either for Christ, or against HIM….you are either in Mother Church or outside… if walk the FENCE… you are look warm, and our Savior said, I will spit you out!! (Rev 3:16)…
THOURHOUT SCRIPTURE… if there is one guy who was ALL IN… truly not a FENCE walker… its Petros!!! Cepahs… Peter, the Vicar of Christ!!! Ok, ok,…. Say what you want about Peter…yeah, he would speak too often, too soon… He may go off half cocked… yeah, he tried to walk on WATER…but he did try… there were 11 other guys in that Boat… why didn’t they follow… PETER IS ALL IN!!! Yeah, I hear ya… He denied Christ 3 times, He was called Satan by Christ, He told Christ to wash his feet, hands, head, etc…He would challenge Christ at times, especially about ‘eating His flesh and drinking His blood’…but when push came to shove… that man was …ALL IN!!! Remember, Christ asked Peter, are you going to leave me too… and it was Peter who said, Christ, we have nowhere else to go…. Remember too.... Peter walked away, IMMEDIATELY from his boats, nets, house and the most part family… for Christ!!!! 33 Years He, Peter was the Vicar of Christ… He was the Pope… The ROCK upon which Christ built our Church… and can you imagine the PRESSURE he was under… yeah, I know Paul was the great orator… but without Peter, there is NO Paul… every decision came on Peters head… I can only imagine…and please know this…from Tradition, small ‘t’…. when Peter’s time came for him to be crucified….He was ALL IN… and according to this TRADITION… just before he was to be crucified, they supposedly martyred his wife… and he spoke to his wife, saying, God with God!!! THEY WERE BOTH ALL IN… !!!
… Well here we sit some 2000 years later… are you on the FENCE… about the teaching of Holy Mother Church?!?!? DO you profess to be a CATHOLIC in public or not…are you in or out??? Do you believe in the Sacraments… yes or no?!?!? Do you go to confession on your own, ‘I go directly to god’…? Are you a Catholic or NOT?!?!? This is not Piccadilly??? Can you marry on the beach, just because you want to…and not be in front of Christ?!?! Are you walking the FENCE??? When people ask you to pray, will you lead them, beginning with THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT… the Sign of the Cross…or are you afraid of push back, the ‘look’, the stare, the smirk… ARE YOU IN OR OUT… are you on the FENCE???? If someone else leads, will you make the SIGN OF THE CROSS because that’s what CATHOLICS DO???!! If you do lead the prayer… will you use the Hail Mary, are you afraid to offend someone, but we have no problem offending Her, the MOTHER OF GOD?!?!?!
My B & S are you on the FENCE… ABOUT gay marriage, a 3rd set of bathrooms because flat made a mistake… about abortion being ok, part of ‘healthcare’, because its legal… im not interested in what is legal, im interested in what is MORAL… THE TEACHING OF JESUS CHRIST!!! Are you in, or OUT!?!?!?!
I leave you with this… Johnny Cash, said there are ‘no fence’s’ between Heaven and Hell… and if I may, in my humble understanding, if there is a … FENCE, ITS OWNED BY THE DEVIL!!!
AMEN

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