2017 Homilies (Written)


Matthew 18:15-20 (As built, #274 Amite, 9-10-11)

Listening…. ( you may hear; but are you… Listening)

… It’s the 1970’s and her name is Mary… Mary is born in New Jersey… she is one of three; the eldest… her mother is a commercial artist… Mary’s dad is pharmaceutical rep…. and if you were to ask Mary about her early days….she would tell you that in Grammar school, and in junior high she was kinda gangly with frizzy hair, and very introverted! So much so, she had little to no confidence…. She wanted to be in a play called Family Affair… but was not sure of herself at all… Until her mom sat her down one day and said, ‘LISTEN to me…you have all the gifts… you can really be and do something special, truly…more than you know.. but if you get lazy you will have nothing…”… every since that talk, Mary, LISTENED… she began to grow in confidence, her looks…even made the cheerleading team, homecoming court…and did the play…. Well by the time she graduated HS, she headed to Yale University… where she auditioned for a play called Miss Julia! And she was outstanding…so much so… today if you were to ask the producer of that play what he thought of Mary… who taught her all the moves… he would tell you nobody taught Mary how to act… Mary taught Mary! Well, it was long before the bug acting bug took hold…she saw the movie with Robert De Nero , Taxi and she was all in… she later got a part in a movie with Robert, called Deer Hunter… and then world opened up for …thanks in part to her LISTENING to her mom… she was in the movie, Out of Africa, Kramer vs Kramer, Bridges of Madison County, Mama Mia… yes you know Mary, as Meryl Streep… and you know you are popular when Sesame street names a street after you, Meryl Sheep! All because she…. LISTENED!!!

THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT….LISTENING!!! Remember now, the Good Lord is talking to His Apostles… and only His Apostles… the Church HE is talking to, is HIS Apostles… they the ones He called… the Church/‘ecclesia’ (assembly, those who are called less tax collectors and gentiles…) and He is telling them if someone is at fault, talk to them on the side… if they LISTEN… so be it… if they don’t, call 2/3 witnesses and approach them… if they LISTEN… so be it… if not, bring them to the Church… to you the Apostles!! Remember the last lines of the Gospel… what you bind is bound; what you remain loose is loose… He is speaking to the Apostles…and telling them as Bishops you will have this authority…Peter and his office as Vicar will have the keys, but you as Bishops will have authority to bind and loose…. And lastly, when Christ says 2 or 3 gathered in My name, there I am among you…. Well, in today’s time we have allowed that line to mean a little more than it was initially declared… Christ is talking to the Apostles, that He will be with them when they meet… at Councils …like Nicaea (Creed), Vat 2… etc… in His Church!! It all begins and ends… with LISTENING!!!
THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… you either fall into one Group or the other…. Either you LISTEN or you don’t!!! If you LISTEN… you are like Joseph… 33 years old, and you LISTEN to an angel to take Mary and Her Son… and flee to another country… remember, He is LISTENING to an angel… would you and I do that, today??? What about Mary, she is roughly 14… LISTENING to an angel… She becomes the Mother of God… at 14!!!! What were you and I doing at 14??? What about Noah… what if he didn’t LISTEN… where would you and I be…today?!?!?! But for everyone who LISTENS… there are those who didn’t… and BOY DID IT COST THEM!!!! What if Pilate had LISTENED to his wife… not to harm this Holy Man…? What if the ‘bad thief’ had LISTENED to the Good Thief… where would he be today had he LISTENED!!??? What if Judas had LISTENED to our Savior… that HIS MERCY is greater than any sin… would we be calling him st judas?!?! …. It all begins and ends with…LISTENING!!!
Well, its 2000 years later… are you and I good LISTENERS’?? We live in a world that spins way too fast… too many distractions… the phone, the computer, tv, etc… we do not know how to … LISTEN!!!! How can we expect to HEAR WHAT GOD WANTS OF US… IF WE CANT EVEN LISTEN to one another; Lets see just how good we are of a LISTENER (8-10)
a. Do you text or email on your cell phone; while you’re on the other line?
b. Do you text or email at the dinner table … while others are there with you…?
c. When LISTENING to a sensitive topic; do you help with the conversation so as to take the pressure off…?
d. When LISTENING, do you repeat points the other person made to reinsure them that you are with them…?
e. Can you remain Silent when there is no conversation?
f. Can you remain still during the conversation…?
g. Will you look people in the eyes…?
h. Do you interrupt people while they are talking?
i. Do you respond, with grunts, or nod…?
j. Do you LISTEN… to understand …or just reply?
k. (bonus) … do you talk to your LOVE ones more by text than face to face?

My B & S… we live in a world we simply don’t LISTEN … we don’t practice it… the cell phone and texting has destroyed our ability to talk… to visit… to truly understand another’s worries, concerns…anxieties… what went wrong, went right… how to make things better…? Text messages do not show ones emotions or feelings…and as such, we respond base simply on the words… and how many times have arguments ensued!!! IF we can master our own ability to LISTEN… how can we ever expect to hear what the Good Lord has in common for you and I…. can you and I sit still for just 5 min…in front of the Monstrance… to see HIM face to face… no phones, no text… just simply, sit…and LISTEN!! He LOVES us… to the extreme of being CRUCIFIED… HE wants to hear our worries, anxieties, challenges… all we have to do …is follow Elijah’s lead… HE is not in the noise of the rocks, the weather, the storm, the tv, the radio, the text… HE is in the whisper of the wind… SIT STILL AND KNOW HE IS GOD!!! And thank GOD HE is GOD and we are not!!!

My friends in Christ, I leave you with this…. if we do not learn how to LISTEN… I promise you we will NOT hear God speak to you and I… we will become even more …LOST, if that’s possible….








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