2017 Homilies (Written)

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Mark 12:38-44 (As built; Amite # 280; 10-29-17)

A. “All in” (as in, going all in… 100%)
B. … The year is 1931…. And his name… Charles! Charles, is 1 or 15 Children!!!... they live in small town USA, Pennsylvania… Charles’s father is a coal miner, and so will Charles someday…. He is the only child to finish High School…and just like his father, he too became a coal miner… until the war started… WW2… he entered the Air Force and became a bomber pilot…and Charles was quite good! He did numerous bombing flights… and even was wounded several times… Charles actually received a Purple Heart for his accomplishments… but when he returned from the War… he wanted to do something different… he really wanted to be an Actor…. Stage, screen, whatever, whenever… he just wanted to act…so headed to New York… to try his hand at acting on stage… and to help him make ends meet, he worked part time at a Bingo Parlor in a big Casino… and this was ok….. but it didn’t make much… as a matter of fact, it generated so little…that he needed to find a roommate…so he asked his fellow bingo parlor employee, Jack to room with him… and talk about the “Odd couple”… you see, Charles was the consummate neat freak, a place for everything… everything in its place… clean this, mop this, iron that… Charles was obsessive compulsive about being …. Neat!!! This is amazing considering who this guy is…. Well anywho, Jack was the polar opposite… he loved life… living on the edge…and the truth of the matter… Jack was a slob… figuratively and in actuality… so it didn’t take long for them to want to part ways… Granted both wanted to be actors… but they needed to live separately… Jack got his break when he pitched the idea, based on him and Charles living together… of an “odd couple”… and Neil Simon loved it… the idea became a series and Jack became a popular actor…yes, you know Jack as Jack Klugman… but the big parts came Charles’s way… you see when Charles acted… he was ALL IN….no matter how small the part, how big the part, how much or how little money… when Charles took on the role…he was …. ALL IN!!! So it was no surprise that even though one of his first roles was not so hot… You’re in the Navy, then House of Wax, Riding Shotgun…. Then he did his best in Machine Gun Kelly…the Apache’… he was still ALL IN!!! Yet because of his drive and his passion… it did not take long for his career to take off… his only mistake was passing on “fistful of dollar’s”…. in which Clint eastwood became a house hold name… but when Charles did the Great Escape… his career began to flourish… not to mention others movies such as…Magnificent Seven, the Dirty Dozen… AND…. Death Wish…!!! Yes Charles “Phillip” Bronson was successful because he was always… ALWAYS, ALL IN!!
C. THE GOSPEL TODAY… IS ALL ABOUT… BEING… ALL IN!!! Our Savior is asking the scribe, the lawyer if you will… if you want to follow Me… My Church… the True Church…you MUST love Me with ALL your heart, ALL your mind… ALL your soul!!! … Another words… you must be … ALL IN!!! No lip service… kinda sorta maybe so… you are either IN, or out!!!
D. As a first century Jew… please make sure you understand the setting… Christ has just run everyone out the Temple… the money changers, the people selling substandard sheep for sacrifice….and now the Pharisees, Sadducees, even scribes are asking HIM by whose authority do you do such… and over the past few Sundays… the Good Lord has been explaining to them, why HE Can do such… HE uses parables like the owner of the Vineyard…you know the story, a man builds a Vineyard (who is actually God…) new wine press, hedges, and tower… leases it to people and sends HIS SON, Christ to collect… the monies, if you will, owed… and they Kill HIM…and so HE ask the Pharisees and Sadducees, Scribes… what would the owner do to these people who kill HIS SON…they respond, put that wretched man to a wretched death… and Christ responds, that is exactly what will happen… all the time looking directly at them…and yet they still don’t get it… so HE, Christ tells them another parable this time about a wedding feast… throwing a guy out who is not dressed appropriately… not so much his clothing as his actions of not being charitable… Christ was looking at the man’s soul… and therefore was not prepared spiritually to enter the wedding banquet… (which to a Jew, a wedding banquet implies the Kingdom of God)… again this should be putting the Pharisees, Sadducees and or Scribes at attention to the fact they are falling… rapidly away from HIM, HIS CHURCH…and to no avail… so much so, Christ even has to explain about giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is Gods… this fails miserably as well… they, simply do not want to understand… so much so, they convince an attorney if you will, to question Christ one more time… about the commandments, the greatest of these…
E. …. And being that the scribe is well versed in the first five books of the bible… its no wonder why Christ chooses the book of Deut, which is one of the first five books… to respond! Even the scribe, who knows these books…by heart… is taken back that Christ gives to the Jewish Scribe… the SHEMA… the prayer of the Jews… every Jew prays this prayer… morning, noon and night… all day, everyday… so HE uses the scribes own laws to get back at it… PRICELESS!!! The Word, SHEMA… means to hear, to listen… and the prayer goes somewhat like this… Hear oh Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is one… and you will love HIM with your whole heart, whole mind and whole soul…!!! As a Jew, the SHEMA, is like the Our Father to us… and Christ is telling the Jewish scribe… out of your own books, your own laws, I give to you, what you should already know… that you must be ALL IN… when it comes to loving God…!!!
F. (There is a story about a Rabbi who lived after the time of Christ…who always contemplated about loving God with all ones heart, mind and soul… who could that be possible for humans, who are broken, fractured… well, Rabbi Akiba… was about to be martyred, skin alived and as he was being skinned… he paused on the verse or word… ONE…. Knowing now what it meant to love with all ones heart, mind and soul…)
G. THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF MANKIND… we find people… we were totally…. TOTALLY COMMITTED to CHRIST… THEY WERE ALL IN…..!!! if there is one guy… who truly shows that he is ALL IN… its Longinus…!! Here is a guy who is a Roman Soldier first and foremost and good at what he does…your fault, my fault, nobodies fault, anyone who gets out of line…causes any issue… he will handle, PERIOD!!! Pilate is nothing without this guy at the helm… and so for him to proclaim, in the front of everyone…in the middle of the Roman empire… the empire he once worked for, supported and killed for… to say, truly this man was the SON OF MAN… Talk about ALL IN!!! Joseph of Arimathea, here is man who was a ranking Jewish official… had the means to have his own tomb…hewed out of rock… obviously has a little money… not everyone has their own tomb, much less a cave to work from… and to give it to the so called Messiah… talk about ALL IN!!!
H. WELL HERE WE SIT COME 2000 years later… are you … ALL IN… OR not?!?!?! When you go to work... are you ALL IN? You give your best, even though its not ‘your job’ to be doing this particular thing... will give your best when you have to stay late or arrive early, or do something extra when you know.... you will not be compensated fairly?! Will you give your best regardless of the money paid… you give YOUR BEST because YOU ARE ALL IN… you are a follower of Christ… a CATHOLIC… and you are ALL IN…because you are a believer in HIM, HIS CHURCH… period!!! Will you be ALL IN… at the dinner table.. with family, your children, your spouse… and for the love of God… please, im beggin you, put the phones down …so we can visit, talk… pray… eat together… are you ALL IN at the dinner table or not…and if not… WHY NOT!?!?!?
I. Are you ALL IN... when it comes to listening to someone... will you give them time... regardless of how ‘busy or tired’ you are....? Will you be ALL IN... and follow our Saviors lead!?!?! Are you ALL IN, when it comes time for your spouse... or are you multi-tasking.... ?? Which really means, I am too busy to stop and help or listen... so I will add it to the things I am doing now... because in essence I do not have the time to give you .... hence, I am not... AM NOT all in!!!! What about when talking to our parents, friends, etc.... are we ALL IN...OR..... are we ‘all in’ ….until…. its time to text or respond to a text... so much so, that I have to have my phone right there in front of everyone....!!! What about my prayer life.... do I give it my all.... or only WHAT IS LEFT OVER after a long day... or only when I need help and I am desperate???What about our Catholic Faith... do you pick and choose what you believe or follow... I mean, I am a Piccadilly Catholic... because I WILL CHOOSE WHAT I BELIEVE... I know all... regardless of the faith that Peter, declared that no one... no one should personally interpret Scripture!!!
J. I leave you with this... it really all boils down to this .... you will fall into one of three categories...you cant be all three... you are either one or the other....as such..... you can either.... ‘give up..... give in.... or give it YOUR ALL’!! So ask yourself, are you .........ALL IN?!?!?

Amen!!

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