2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 25:1-13 (As Built; Amite # 280; 11-12-17)

A. “Final Hour”
B. ....the Year is 1976…. April 1st, 1976… and of all days… JWC News Director Gary is having a bad day…. He has to let his news anchor, Gail… the news anchor for the 6pm news… he has to let her go! He really likes her in that spot….hence, why he hired her a year ago… granted she was young, albeit 22, but she is articulate, intelligent, driven, and sympathetic… not to mention attractive… but the powers to be have made their decision, Gail is too ‘sympathetic’…! Imagine, a news person being too sympathetic, and you get fired for such…. Anywho, the powers to be reminded Gary, that this is not Nashville, where Gail came from, this is big bad, Baltimore…and we can’t have the news anchor being ‘sympathetic’…. Well everyone knew her time was short, even Gail knew… but knowing, and hearing the bad news, are really two different things… so when Gary called her to the office, she knew all too well, what waits for her…. And when he told her, she kind of drifted off to her past… what mistakes she had made that brought her to this point…one aspect she remembered, was the time she was talking with the news crew, that she didn’t like to pre-read the news, she would rather read it for the first time when they were filming live… she, Gail, felt that it would come across more genuine… more sincere… and ultimately more sympathetic to the people involved in that aspect of the news… well, granted this might be true, but it also allows for misstatements, miss pronounced words, or oop’s, if you will…. And of course these things happened… secondly, Gail remembered the time she was asked to go to local house that was on fire and film the burning and also interview any family members…. Well….. When she arrived she felt that they should not interview, anyone… in particular the lady who owned the house, especially in lieu of the fact, that the house is still burning, smoldering… and it would be too cold, too unsympathetic… it would just be wrong… well, when Gail called Gary to tell him, that it was not the right thing to do… Gary told her that the powers to be, want it filmed and people interviewed….or she would be fired… well, Gail does the interview with the lady… and during the interview, when Gail was asking her about her family, she told Gail….. that… her 7 children…. 7…. All died in the fire!!!!!!!!.... Well, Gail broke down on national tv… crying incessantly… that was the beginning of the end for Gail …. Well, she was about to get up from the dismissal from Gary, when Gary…. Felt that he should do something for her… he felt he needed to be charitable… it was the right thing to do! Well, he told Gail, that she should first go spend the day all on her, and that he would pay for such…go to the hairdresser… and do the works… and when done, and them come back to the station for ONE FINAL TIME, ONE FINAL HOUR…and be one of the guest host on talk show…. Called, ‘people are talking’! Well, Gail took him up on the offer for the hairdresser, and the new opportunity… well, the hairdresser did not go well…. Just another hit for the day… the shampoo that was used, she had a reaction to it… quite severe actually… and her began to fall out, Immediately! So much so, that she was bald by the afternoon…. Yet she still went and did the guest host thing for the talk show… and boy did she do well… SHE WAS A HUGE HIT… so much, Phil Donahue had nothing on her… the show took off… and they renamed it after Gail… She became so popular and still is today… that she is one of the most popular people today on tv, the media, the news… do you know, she has her own magazine today called, ‘O’…. she played in the movie the Color Purple… she has her own production company called, Harpo…. Her named spelled backward…. Yes my friends in Christ, you know Gail, as Gail Winfrey… Oprah Gail Winfrey!!! All because she gave the Station Manager one….FINAL HOUR….And just so you know, she is in the top 50 people in the world, with regards to the amount of donations she gives to the poor, to charity, almost every year!!!!
C. THAT’S WHAT THE GOSPEL IS ALL ABOUT… the FINAL HOUR Remember the Good Lords word’s the bridesmaids who come late, who waited until the FINAL HOUR to get oil and then try to make the wedding…the final judgement!!
D. As a first century Jew… please remember this… betroval took place one year before the wedding; you are legally married… hence, when the angel appeared to Mary…she was betroved to Joseph…hence, she was legally married… that is why Her, Mary’s … upfront statement to the Angel is so powerful… when the Angel stated, that the Holy spirit will overcome Her and she will bear a child… She states, “how can this be for I do not know man…” she was already married and within the year would move in with Joseph…Joseph had a year to prepare a home for them…. so for Her to state she does not know man, means there was no intention to consummate the marriage…I don’t know man; yet I’m married… and live with him within the year…. HENCE, there will be NO consummation!!! …. SECONDLY, weddings last for about a week… hence, why there are 6 jars, 30 gallons each… 180 gallons of wine… truly, a Catholic Wedding! Moreover, the wedding would be on the last night… and then they would process to the home… or wedding chamber if you will…. Now remember too, parables always have a TWIST… something that does not sound right…. Seems contrary to logic… think for a second… you have a wedding, would you …if you were the groom… not help the other 5 bridesmaids who didn’t have oil… I mean you chose them, wouldn’t you try to help them… it’s not like there is a Walmart in Israel at this time frame… they can’t just go down the street the k mart or drugstore for additional oil… moreover; when they find the oil, would you open the door to the wedding and then say, I don’t know you??!! … The TWIST is this… any first century Jew knows that the prophet Isiah speaks of wedding feast as… the second coming of Christ…Judgement day… hence, the parable makes sense if it is dealing with Christ coming on that day to Judge us… ( the Jews call it the Nimshal; somewhere in the parable, a paragraph or sentence, that tries to make clear the point… in this case it’s the last one…)…
E. THE POINT IN THE GOSPEL IS THIS… that if you wait to make amends with Christ in the last hour… it may come before you know it… and you may be caught short… and then, ITS TOO LATE!!! Remember Matthew 7… not everyone who proclaims HIS name will enter My Kingdom, but only those who do the will of My Father! So even if you prophesy in My name…remove demons.. You must FOLLOW MY CHURCH… RECEIVE THE EUCHARIST… BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!
F. THROUGHOUT SCRIPTURE… what people do in the FINAL HOUR before their death may well determine their fate… let me explain…. Let’s take Christ…not that HIS fate is being determined… but HE does show us what to do …the FINAL HOUR on the cross…HIS last words, in the FINAL HOUR… ‘father forgive them, for they know not what they do’…. What about Peter… who for 3 hours, his FINAL THREE HOURS… proclaims Christ, albeit upside down on a cross… What about James the Greater…He is so convincing about his love for Christ… being a true Apostle… he actually convinces one of the soldiers to remove his gear, and kneel next to him…during the FINAL HOUR… SO THAT both were beheaded!!! What about the Good thief…his FINAL HOUR… he is so remorseful, that he can’t even utter the words that he is sorry… but he states, JUST REMEMBER LORD… basically saying I’m so unworthy of you… just have a passing thought of me… and because he does this… this day he goes to paradise! Yet for everyone one of these, there is always someone whose LAST HOUR OR FINAL HOUR… is …. Not good!! Take the bad thief… instead of pleading with God to help him… he simply , berates Christ for not helping him or himself by getting them both off the cross…. What about King Herod… the one who’s trying to locate the ‘newborn Jewish king, to kill him….’ … kills most of his family and counsel in the FINAL HOURS OF HIS DEATH…so that people will cry during his funeral… how pathetic and disordered is that …. ‘
G. WELL HERE WE SIT SOME 2000 years later… my B & S in Christ…. The FINAL HOURS of our time here on earth… will come and go…just how we lived our lives here on earth… you were peace filled, and lead a quiet life…by and large, this is how you will pass…. If you had a troubled life, quarrelsome…. Etc.… this is how you will pass as well! So HOW YOU SPEND YOUR HOURS NOW… WILL IMPACT YOUR FINAL HOUR… let me explain…do you spend more hours per week on the computer than you pray…??? This is a problem… do you spend more time on the phone…or texting per week … than you pray… this is also a BIG PROBLEM… do you watch tv or movies more per week than you pray? Do you work out, play golf, hunt, and fish…etc. … more than you pray… then I will tell you, your FINAL HOURS may be problematic… don’t you see!!! I have only been a priest for about 8 years… yet I have been bedside to many people… many… who were passing on…their FINAL HOUR if you will… and I can tell you, that once I walk into the room, I can tell where people sit…before anyone says a word…all you have to do is watch… and listen… if the person is peace filled…quiet … resting…and seems at peace…then by and large they were a Marion…a special devotion to Her…the rosary… it’s AMAZING…. You can just tell… part and parcel, it may be do the fact that the Hail Mary, speaks about the last hour of our death…you can also tell those who have stayed close to the Church… utilized the Sacraments… attended Mass…adoration… these people are so calm, and actually ready to move on… yet for those who are drifting farther and farther away… don’t make Mass, if only occasionally… skip the sacraments… especially confession… luke warm… I can honestly say they are restless…uncomfortable… worried…anxiety filled… because they have no peace… they spent the HOURS OF THEIR DAY, doing what they wanted, and not what they needed to do… STAY CLOSE TO MOTHER CHURCH….
H. I leave you with this… if everything I said here today is wrong; then I have wasted my life… but if I’m right, and you disagree with what I’ve said, then you have WASTED…. ETERNITY!!
I. Amen

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