2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 21:33-43 (As built Amite #277; Oct 8, 2017)

A. “Best Foot...” (Best Foot forward… best effort)
B. …It’s the 1850’s... and his name is Allan… he lives in Great Britain… and if you were to ask his family how to describe him…in 10 words or less….Without question… he is a ROGUE, a REBEL… actually let’s be honest… Allan is a … THUG!!! If you were to ask everybody in Great Britain what they thought of Allan… what position would best fit Allan…they would say… the position… 6ft under (use hands to show)… In short, Allan is a …BAD SEED! If you were to ask his wife to be, what is Allan’s biggest problem…. He can’t keep quite! He can’t keep his mouth…. Shut! HE GOES PUBLIC… WITH TOO MUCH!!! So when the Greatest riot ever in Great Britain’s History takes place…in large part thanks to Allan …everybody is on the look for him… they are searching every… house… outhouse, in-house, barn, hay stack, riverbed…you think about it…they searched it…. Allan is on the lamb…and he knows time is short…so he finally reaches his girlfriend’s house…his wife to be…he tells her…that he has to go…she knows him all too well… going PUBLIC caused the riot… to the New World…America…and he wants her to go with him….she agrees….provided, there is no more of this PUBLIC STUFF!!! They are going to America because of this… not down the street…they find the first vessel they can…and there off…. To the New World…the land in Chicago… they made it…now he needs work….and there is not a lot of work…for a “one man riot team”…. But he does make beer barrels…. And so he works day and night…in the warehouse district in Chicago… making beer barrels…STAYING QUIET…KEEPING HIS HEAD DOWN…and because he is a one man team… he is up all the time…and because he is up all the time…he notices a lot…. ‘of the comings and goings’….of people at night…things you may not see during the day…. So much so… that even the Sheriff comes to talk to him about helping out….there is a counterfeiting scam going on…and he needs some eyes and ears on the ground…. Yet, Allan does not want to go PUBLIC… but he wants to do the right thing… so he visit with the sheriff quietly… and because he does this… they break up the counterfeiting ring… he, Allan, is actually becoming a deputy….can you imagine…the ‘one man riot team’ now a deputy sheriff…. And he does a great job! So much that he loves this type of work…he enlist in the Chicago police department…and he is AWESOME…they love him…he is excellent…. As a matter of fact…he is so good at what he does… keeping PRIVATE, NOT GOING PUBLIC… That he decides to put out his own shingle…he wants to become a private detective… his motto… ‘WE NEVER SLEEP’…AND HE PUT THAT ABOVE A … BIG EYEBALL (his sign)….this is where you and I get the name…. ‘Private eye’… And he was EXCELLENT! Everybody wanted his services…. As a matter of fact…he was so well respected…that even the president of the US…wanted him as his personal body guard during his inauguration!!! It went off without a hitch…too bad the President did not use him during his visit….to Ford’s theater…yes, B & S…you know the President of the US…he was none other than President Abraham Lincoln…and you also know Allan…but you know him by his last name… ALLAN WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST RESPECTED PRIVATE DECTECTIVES OF ALL TIME….ALLAN PINKERTON!!!! All because he can keep things private…not PUBLIC!!!
C. THE GOSPEL TODAY IS ALL ABOUT… putting your BEST FOOT FORWARD… when the Good Lord ask the High priest/scribes/etc… what would you do to these people who wreaked havoc to your Vineyard, killed your son… not to mention your coworkers… they respond, “give those wretched people a wretched death”, they did not put for the right effort… their BEST FOOT FORWARD!!
D. REMEMBER… if you are a first century Jew… imagine, now this conversation is taking place in the, THE TEMPLE… with the true powers to be… THE high priest, THE scribes… this is not the also rans, the etc’s… This is what all the High Power Jews were waiting for… a conversation, in The Temple with Christ… also REMEMBER, too that with all parables, there is a twist…something that just doesn’t add up… for example, let’s say you own the vineyard, and you sent some coworkers to collect the rent… and they beat them, stone them, and then kill them… would you send you son or daughter!!??? Of course not… but if you are God, and the vineyard is your Temple, Your City Jerusalem, and Your Son is Christ, you would… and the tenants….well, that’s the High Priest, the Scribes, etc… the Good Lord is calling them out…. And HE is using the parable of Isaiah… the one they would know by Heart!!! (the first reading, exactly….) REMEMBER, who Isaiah is … he is one of the Big 4 Prophets…one of the most quoted prophets in NT Scripture, even though he is from the OT…. They called his book in the OT, the 5th Gospel…. And that parable from Isaiah foretells the destruction of the Vineyard (the Temple) by the tenants who take the ‘Son’ and kill him outside the city walls… which is where Golgotha is… additionally, as a High ranking Jewish official…you also are aware of the idea of the cornerstone… which comes from Psalm 118 which is the psalm read during the Passover Meal… The Good Lord is foretelling to them, they are the problem, so much so, He is going to take all from them…and give it all too…. His Apostles!!!
E. THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… it’s about putting your BEST FOOT FORWARD… or not!!!! All the Great players in Scripture, who have their name in the book of life… its because at some point, regardless of their past…. REGARDLESS OF THEIR PAST… have now decided, firmly and resolutely PUTTING THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD…. M Magdalene who all seven demons… pride, anger, gluttony, lust, avarice, sloth and envy… yet when Easter Sunday comes, SHE PUTS HER BEST FOOT FORWARD… she is going to the Tomb.. Period!!! In lieu of moping around, staying indoors… she heads to the Tomb… never mind a massive boulder is in the way, sealed by Pilate with guards, who probably took advantage of her… and because she does this…takes that first STEP…, she is the first to see the risen Christ!!!! Take Veronica, do you know what it must have taken to walk out into the path of the Crucifixion… I mean let’s be honest… Roman soldiers have little to know patience with anyone, must less a woman, who in the day had little to no rights… yet; Veronica steps out in the path… I’m sure she caught a little of everything… pushing, shoving, yelling, cursing, spitting… whatever, whenever, but ….. Because she does this… and puts her BEST FOOT FORWARD… she is in the Book of Life; her name means, ‘true icon’!!! Today, we still have the veil, and at times place it on the altar during Easter at St Peters… What about the Wise men, talk about a Great First Step… a journey that will take a year or so, following a Star of all things… pack up all your belongings, your family, etc… and head out… but because you do this… Every Christmas their Statues are on altars around the world… What about Paul, blinded for 3 days, and as a result of this conversion, Paul takes his FIRST STEPS TOWARD CHRIST… and thank GOD he does…especially for you I … are gentiles!!!
F. WELL HERE WE SIT SOME 2000 years later… do we put our BEST FOOT FORWARD… all the time, some of the time, part time… not a whole heck of a lot.. I mean we put a foot out, but it will do, right...?? Do you put your BEST FOOT FORWARD… with regards to your work, regardless of job description, pay, time, etc…. I mean you put your BEST FOOT FORWARD because its about who you are…WHO YOU REPRESENT…. CHRIST, right?!?!? All gifts come from God, nothing is ‘natural’, all gifts are Supernatural… therefore when you put your BEST FOOT forward, it reflects back on HIM…. Think for a second…. How will people know that you are a follower of Christ…?!?!? I know, I hear it to… I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior… well, that’s just great!!!! NOW PUT IT INTO PLAY… Love of Neighbor, Love of God!!! … How will people come to know HE exists, that HE does LOVE…if we don’t show it!!! How will they know we are a follower of Christ… if we don’t put our BEST FOOT FORWARD!!?? Will we put our BEST FOOT FORWARD in our relationships… in lieu of the same ol, same ol… when we come home, will we hit the door, with our BEST FOOT FORWARD… or just waltz on in… when we are supposed to be listening, will we do so with all we GOT?!?! Will we put our BEST FOOT FORWARD… with our schoolwork, our attitude, our language… when someone Gossips… Look we live in a world where OBJECT MEDOCIRTY … is the norm, is the rule… its acceptable…BUT THAT IS WHY WE ARE WHERE WE ARE… will you put your BEST FOOT FORWARD with regards to your faith… and go to confession!!! Stop the rhetoric…. I mean the Good Lord did not baptize anyone, nor did HE ever hear a confession…but yet, we want to put words in HIS MOUTH…and change it… just cuz!!! As if I enjoy hearing all these sins… I have my own, thank you!!! Just Imagine if you prayed just one prayer before you get up, one before your head hits the pillow… and one before each meal… that’s 5 PRAYERS A DAY… now that’s GOOD FIRST STEP…nothing major, not a diatribe of prayers…just one!!!! Will you stop by church one a week just to stick you head in… go to Adoration…. What a GREAT FIRST STEP!!!
G. My Friends in Christ, I leave you with this …. A man by the name of Mandrel, made this statement…. “the only thing achieved without effort, or putting your best foot forward… is failure!!”
H. Amen

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