2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 16:21-27 (As built; #273; 9-3-17)

“Focus” ….
It’s just not right…. It just ain’t! It is not James’ fault… you cannot blame James for being the illegitimate child of a Duke in England! He is just the result of the affair… he is a leper…actually he is a leper within his own colony… however, HIS ILLEGITIMACY is an Obstacle… a Huge obstacle… back in the day… everything becomes complicated….so much so, that you could not go to school…could not be educated….You could not own a home or property…You could not vote….could not join the army or navy…B & S…you could not even die for your country… James’s mother was concerned…. That James only saw ‘OBSTACLES’…THAT HE WAS NOT…. FOCUSING!!!! So she pulled James on the side…and told him…stop looking for obstacles…and FOCUS ON HIM (point to cross)! She was somehow going to get him educated…. And she would start by changing his last name…to Macie… James Macie… And she was able to find him a school….and he did well…he really like Science….he even did better in high school…so much so…they found a college that would take him…he was brilliant…he had the MENSA IQ…like that of Einstein…he was… before long…not long after graduation, James began to make a name for himself…he was that good! So much, he was becoming the most Prominent Scientist of England… so much so… That everybody wanted him to be on their Board, Schools wanted him, people who wrote books, he made them…’legitimate’… valid if you will… well, the money began to role in …. And he became a very, very wealthy man… and one day, albeit on his death bed….he told everyone, all the dignitaries, that he wanted to do two things …change his name back to his original birth name… Smithson…and give all his millions to a new institute to help educated children, illiterate or otherwise… and of course the people of England were excited… this would be great they thought….and James responded it would be…too bad I am not leaving it to ya’ll….for you should have helped me and the rest like me… I am going to give to the United States…they were shocked…. Those renegade colonists…pray tell, it won’t work…what will they call it… they will name it after me… the Smithsonian Institute!!!
FOCUS… that is what the Gospel is about…Peter has gone from “the Rock”, to get behind me Satan, within the hour…. Talk about Peter losing ‘FOCUS’….
… REMEMBER now, lets go back to the setting… the Good Lord has just taken the 12 outside the city…and asked them, who do you say I AM… some say John the Baptist, some Jeremiah, some Elijah… isn’t it interesting… that every name put out… was dead! So therefore, they must see Jesus as some type of Spiritual persona, Divine essence… if you will… for they are calling Him names of people who have passed… and then Peter through the prompting of God the Father makes the proclamation, YOU ARE THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD…. And then Christ gives Peter the Keys… even chances his name from Simon to Peter, to Kephas… boulder, massive boulder in Aramaic… and no sooner than Christ does this… HE tells them the rest of the Story… hoping they will stay FOCUSED…. well I will be imprisoned, and then killed 3 days later… Peter loses it…and ‘rebuke’s Christ… remember now, that is a very strong term for a Jew… remember the story of the storm on the sea, the apostles are battling the storm, in particular peter… Christ asleep in the bow… and peter calls out, Lord do you not care that we may parish…and the Good Lord ‘rebukes’ the wind… well Peter is giving Christ the ‘what for’…. (Peter has been with our Good Lord for almost 3 years…he has seen the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear…the dead rise…and yet when the Good Lord makes one statement…. I have to go to Jerusalem, where the Scribes and Pharisees will persecute me and kill me…but I will rise on the third day…. All peter see’s is an OBSTACLE…HE HAS LOST HIS FOCUS…) … the Good Lord has to put Peter in his place… I changed your name from Simon, to Peter, to Satan… that is how far you just fell Peter…when you lose your FOCUS…ALLTHE CHURCH WILL FOLLOW… make sure you stay, FOCUSED… and just to make sure peter gets it…Christ gives a gentle nudge… Christ used the word, scandalan… a English word for scandal… but in the Greek it means, a stumbling stone…. Peter, I changed you from the rock, to a stumbling stone… don’t lose your FOCUS!!!
IMAGINE… if you will… If Christ had turned to each Apostle… now that Peter has lost his FOCUS lets see how each of you do….if they are going to Kill ME…. What will come of you Andrew … WHAT HAPPENS IF they crucify you in a cross, near the shore so dogs can eat… or you James when you get beheaded…. Will you lose your FOCUS… will you John lose your FOCUS when they try to boil you in oil… or leave in Patmos… what about you Thaddaeus … will you lose FOCUS when come to spear you to death, or barthalomeau… when they come to skin you alive…or Matthew when they come to behead you, or Thomas when they spear you… or James the lesser, will you lose your FOCUS when they drag you up to the pinnacle and throw you off… and later when you don’t die, beat you to death… or your Phillip when they crucify you….will you the other SIMON, lose you FOCUS when they come to saw you in half…or you Mathias when they behead you… will lose your FOCUS just before hand…
THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE….if there is one group of people who immolate obsessing on obstacles and losing their FOCUS…it’s the israelites… and one who keeps his FOCUS… for the most part.. is Moses …. He FOCUSES ON GOD … and goes to the Israelis to tell them he has come to set them free….how do they respond… they lose FOCUS…. ‘good luck with all that’….’can’t wait to hear what Pharaoh has to say…’… Moses FOCUSES on God…and the 10 plagues come…Moses never loses FOCUS during the plagues… they no sooner are out of Egypt and the Israelites see only PROBLEMS… AND complain about the being caught between the red sea and the army…. Moses FOCUSES on God…and the waters part….they, the Israelites, no sooner get to the other side… they see only their stomachs… they complain about no bread…they see only obstacles….Moses FOCUSES ON GOD…Manna from Heaven falls…then they complain about no water… MOSES FOCUSES ON GOD… and water comes from the rock….granted Moses lost his FOCUS when hitting the rock twice… but at the end of the day, the FOCUS, the destination was finally obtained…
The question for you and I brothers and sisters, is have we lost our FOCUS… well let’s see… you and I have only ONE JOB, PERIOD!!! TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN… OUR FAMILY, SPOUSE, CHILDREN, IS TO MAKE HEAVEN… PERIOD!! THAT IS OUR SOUL JOB!!!
…nothing else is even close… DO YOU UNDERSTAND… that is our JOB, OUR FOCUS… is to get to HEAVEN… so why is it, we can Disneyland, but no church… we can play travel ball, kick ball, dodge ball, football, baseball… in lieu of going to CHUCH!! Oh my God… we have put our children’s soul in jeopardy for a ball game… where is our FOCUS….and yet I hear many excuses on why we are not FOCUSED…
(WORK) …Oh but father, you don’t understand… Jesus did not have to work with the people I do… they don’t know whether they are coming or going…. The village idiot works there…it so bad father, we have the entire village of idiots… they are clueless….they are not good people….though they profess to be…we gossip about each other, nobody gets along, my boss my coworkers are stabbing each other in the back… father, there is no way I can FOCUS ON GOD… AND… if we play that card… we may very well hear Christ say… or tell you and I…and I worked with Judas for almost 3 years, I broke bread with him…he sat at my elbow… I walked with him… stayed with him…educated him… knowing that he would betray me for 30 pieces of Silver….and you are telling me you cant FOCUS ON ME… because of work?!?!?! …
(FAMILY/FRIENDS)…I CANT FOCUS on anything father… I am all alone… I have been abandoned by everyone, family, friends, co workers… im on an island… I am a leper…if I touch something it goes south… im completely alone…so there is just no way to FOCUS on YOU….Jesus just does not understand… and Christ will tell you and I…. that when I was on the Cross… and I looked down… I could swear I ordained 12 apostles… where are the other 10 apostles…less judas…and when on the cross… it got so bad My Child…that I screamed…. ‘MY GOD MY GOD….WHY HAVE YOU ABAONDONED ME! And you are telling me you can’t FOCUS because you feel alone…?!?!?!? You should FOCUS on me when you are all along… I am THERE!!!!
(FORGIVENESS)…Oh Father you don’t get it… I have some issues with family, brothers, sisters, in laws, out laws, coworkers, bosses… friends, or called friends… I just can’t forgive them… I just can’t do it…they have hurt me, belittled me, cursed me, disowned me…. I can’t even take hearing their name, much less being in a room with them… I can’t FOCUS…I can’t and will not forgive them… I will take it to my grave… and sooooo you will…. Yet Christ is going to look at me and you and say… you can’t FOCUS ON ME… because you can’t forgive… how do you think I felt when Peter denied me, not once, not twice, but three times… or Judas who betrayed me…and all… ALL he had to do was say, im sorry to receive my all loving forgiveness… how do you think I felt when they beat me over 1000 times, or spit on me, or cursed me, or nailed my hands, my feet or watched my mother take such abuse… how do you think I felt… and you can’t forgive people, WHY!?!?!?!
(EDUCATION…LEARNING… SCHOOL…) Oh but father, the Good Lord does not understand, my teachers…they are clueless, they give me homework that makes no sense, they are not really that bright….they are not very smart…it is just busy work…. AND THE GOOD LORD WOULD TELL YOU AND I…. how do you think I FELT…when I creat the world by mere….. thought… create man in MY own image… gave him a book about ME, how to love me, to worship me… how to carry your cross… and then have them turn to me with My Bible and tell me what I meant to say, or should have said … or worse where I got it wrong!!!!
MY B &S… don’t you see …it is all about FOCUS!!! I leave you with the words of Winston Churchill… “you will never reach your destination (lose focus); if you stop to throw rocks at every barking dog…” don’t lose FOCUS…
AMEN!!!!

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