2017 Homilies (Written)

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MATTHEW 22:15-21 (As built; Amite # 279; 9-22-17)

A. “Portrait”
B. … The year is 1990… and his name is Phillip… he is born in the Uk… his mom worked in the circus…and his dad was a commercial pilot! Phillip has 3 sisters… but if you were to ask Phillip about his childhood…he would flat out tell ya… it was tumultuous … he lived in different countries… and because of his dialect… was somewhat thick… he was bullied a lot…and then his parents got divorced… so HS… well it wasn’t pretty either… as a matter of fact he didn’t finish… and if you were to ask him… what made you decide to be an actor…he would have said, once he found out, that his great grandfather was a stand in for John Wayne… he was ALL IN… and it wasn’t long after that he did a commercial for Pac Man… then a bit part as a child actor in Empire of the Sun… which opened the door to a bit part with Charlton Heston in Treasure Island!.... Well, Phillip would be the first to tell you… that not every show was hit… he had several that struggled… such as, Equilibrium… Little Women… Hostile… but some did ok, 3:10 to Yuma, American Psycho, Hustler, the Machinist… but the one show that paints him as a good actor… the one, that if Phillip had to make a portrait of him… that everyone would know who he is… would be a painting… A PORTRAIT… of the costume he wore…. Phillip will tell you, it had over 100 parts…it was claustrophobic… it made him nervous… and if you had to go to the bathroom, go early… you see, Phillip… was the first non-American to play… Bruce Wayne! The costume was used in Batman Begins… the Dark Knight, the Dark Knight Rises… Yes you know Phillip, as Christian Phillip Bael! …
C. THE GOSPEL TODAY… is all about the image… the PORTRAIT ON THE COIN… our Saviors words are powerful… Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s….but give to God, what belongs to God… ! Its Caesar’s image or PORTRAIT… then it must belong to him, so give it to him…. Yes, you have an obligation to pay taxes… it’s a duty… but don’t forget your OBLIGATION TO CHRIST…
D. Now, if you are a first century jew… then we must know the setting… Christ has just run everyone out the Temple… money changers, pigeon handlers, etc… and remembers, when Christ was confronted about whose authority does he do this… He offers two parables…one about the vineyard…owned by the KING…. (God the Father…)… and what HE will do to those who kill HIS SON… but to little avail... the Pharisees don’t get it… so Christ offers yet another parable about the Wedding feast… and as a Pharisee… they will know about Isaiah … and that the Wedding feast represents the coming of the Kingdom of God,… ie Christ… yet, they are still clueless…so now they don’t know what to do… so they go off and gather support with the Herodian’s… and if this is not the height of irony… the Herodian’s and Pharisees hate each other… the only thing they agree on… is that they hate Christ more… moreover; the Herodian’s are all about the tax…they follow Herod…and for the most part are soldiers… and the Pharisees believe that they pay taxes already to the temple and offer sacrifice…so another tax is not right… hence, why they proposed the issue of the coin and subsequent tax…. Knowing that which either way Christ goes… half of them are going to get upset… so when Christ answers as HE Does …they are now caught in their own web of lies… additionally, the coin is about the size of a dime… and on the coin is the image of Tiberius Caesar… and the inscription underneath states that he is the son of the Divine… Augustus Caesar, his father… who along with Julius are the two divine Caesar…. So here they are giving a coin to the TRUE DIVINE … with a dead human’s image on the front… !!!
E. THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… I bet, I could offer or show you a painting or PORTRAIT… of someone…and you could identify them… if I should you a PORTRAIT… of a man helping Christ carry a cross… we immediately would say, Simon of Cyrene… If I showed you a PORTRAIT of a lady of a veil with the image of Christ on it…you would Veronica… whose name means … true icon…. Or if showed you a PORTRAIT of a carpenter holding a staff that flowered…you would say St Joseph… ( that is how st joseph was selected to the be the protector of the new Tabernacle…)… the same is true of current day PROTRAITS… If I told you it was a picture… a PORTRAIT… of Washington crossing the Delaware…you have an image of a PORTRAIT you may have seen… or the Mona Lisa… the Last Supper… the Pieta… or maybe… Dogs playing Poker or the velvet Elvis…. The fact is, the PORTRAIT you recognized… well here we sit….
F. …SOME 2000 years later… if someone was to paint a PORTRAIT of you today… would anyone who sees it…. KNOW YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST… THAT YOU ARE CATHOLIC…?! Yes or no… not kinda, sorta… sometimes…YES OR NO?!?!?... Would you be painted against a backdrop…of books, your diplomas… the awards you received… your golf clubs, fishing rods… LSU football relics… if this PORTRAIT was given to Christ…would Christ say, WOW THIS IS MY SON/DAUGHTER… I AM SO WELL PLEASED!?!?!? Would HE even recognize us as HIS SON OR DAUGHTER… if I showed this picture to anyone…would they say… that person is CATHOLIC, A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST…TRULY A DISCIPLE… would there be any markings… would you have a rosary in your hand… a bible… a crucifix… show you receiving Communion…. My B & S… you and I came in the world on one day…and we are going home on another… that day to depart HAS ALREADY BEEN DETERMINED… AND THE MINUTE… THAT VERY SECOND… pass… all the things in the PORTRAIT… will mean ZILCH… NADA… ZIPPO… NOTHING… the golf clubs, fishing stuff, the awards, the diplomas, the financial status… the house, car, etc… the only that matters is our SOUL… so what in our PORTRAIT SAYS CLEARLY, DISTINTCLY… THIS PERSON IS CATHOLIC FIRST AND FOREMOST….
G. I leave you with this… we were made in HIS IMAGE… if our PORTRAIT is shown to HIM on our passing… what in it… will mirror, that we were made in HIS IMAGE…. Today is the first day, to begin to paint YOUR PORTRAIT… with something, anything, everything… MIRRORING OUR CATHOLIC FAITH…
H. Amen

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