Homily Perseverance - October 16, 2022

Luke 18: 1-8     10-16-2022       (As built, Amite #516) 

  1. Perseverance… 
  2. The year is 1900… she lives at the very bottom of the Ozark Mountains… she lives in a ten by ten which is no bigger then this… and you would call it a ten by ten shack… shanty… lean tube… it’s deplorable man her husband has passed and her kids have gone… and she is inside her house… she’s sitting in what little broken chair there is… she looks up to the roof to see man when it rains it just pours… albeit inside her little shack… the floor is made of wood but it’s nothing more than a mud puddle… there’s no panes in the window… the door is coming off the hinges… she stands up and looks to the heavens and says Lord help me… and she thinks she understands to persevere… to finish what we started… next thing you know she begins to hear these rumblings outside and man she doesn’t know what It is… man she goes over to the door which is barely hanging on to the hinge and she walks out on the porch which I got to tell you… it’s no bigger then this… it’s missing every other plank… she sees three men come up on horseback and she says one of them looks like lucifer himself… he said ma’am we’ve been traveling all night long… we could sure use some food and a place to stay… really… she looks up into the heavens… so this is how you help me… okay I’ll give you what I got… they get off and the man grabs the saddle bag… the one that looks like lucifer… they walk in and he sits at a table that’s missing a leg… two of the chairs he gives to his friends he’s kind of standing… the chairs are wobbly… he looks at the woman crack her last three eggs into a skillet… he looks up and sees the roof and says man I know what comes when the rain comes… nothing on the windows… he said ma’am how can I help you… she begins to cry… my husband is dead and my children are gone… I owe eight hundred dollars on this… the banker comes today… he said I see… he reaches over and grabs his saddle bag and he pulls out three one hundred dollar bills… one for each egg… he said ma’am you owe how much… eight hundred dollars and he comes today… he reaches over and grabs eight one hundred dollar bills… ma’am I hate bankers get a receipt… she said okay she can’t believe it eight hundred dollars… three hundred dollars for eggs… oh my God… he said ma’am I thank you for what you did for me and my men I’ll never forget this… they get on their horses and the three of them literally ride around the bend… I bet you he’s not around the bend and here comes the banker… she sees him… she hears him… man he’s got that you know proverbial black carriage… he’s got four black horses… black top hat and black jacket… he is cursing her from the minute he sees her… I want my money… I want it now… he is upside her one side down the other… she’s trying to explain to him I got the money but she can’t get a word in… man he is literally vomiting on top of her… finally she says sir if you just wait a second I’ve got the money… she shows him the eight one hundred dollar bills… he can’t believe it… he takes the receipt… he throws it at her and spits in her face… takes his money and he goes around the turn… the height of irony… he’s robbed by three men on horseback… one was lucifer himself… true story… and that guy’s name was Jesse James… you do know who Jesse James is right my brothers and sisters in Christ… trust me that guy existed… 
  3. My brothers and sisters in Christ that is that Gospel… it’s about persevering… it’s about finishing what you started… now remember Christ is a Jew… you and I are descendants of the Jews… His mother is Jewish… his step-father is Jewish… he’s Jewish… so if you and I don’t study scripture correctly through the eyes of a Jew we’re going to miss it… now remember this… you heard him say this is a parable… and how do you and I know… say he doesn’t say the word parable… how do you and I know as descendants of the Jews… there’s no proper name being used… you know the wealthy man… the man in the ditch… the Samaritan… whenever you hear a name… names are important remember this in the garden of Eden… there names are not Adam and Eve… Adam means ground… their names in the garden are man and woman… he doesn’t resume his name until after he’s kicked out… he doesn’t give the name to Eve until after they are kicked out the garden… so when you hear the name Noah… Jonah… they’re not being parabolic… oh that’s right those are make believe stories I forgot that’s right… see you think Jonah oh yeah that’s the guy in the whale Father you know that come on really… did you read the story… because if you had then you’d know he’s singing a funeral dirge because he dies in the whale… and that’s why he tells the Jewish people if you’re looking for a sign the only sign you are going to get is like that of Jonah… just like Jonah descended to the dead for three days so will I… why would I give you a story that’s make believe if it’s about my resurrection… Noah you can say what you want… Father he put all the animals on the Ark… did you read it closely… all means dominant… a majority of… of that region… brothers in Christ did he not use Noah as an example… just like Noah people were getting married in the time of Noah so will it be when I return… my brothers in Christ this is the point… you need to study Christ as a Jew… 
  4. Now go back in scripture… all our best players… are people that know how to persevere… case and point… Mary Magdalene has all seven demons… Pride, anger, gluttony, lust, adverse, sloth and envy… she’s the only one in scripture to have such a plight…. She has the trifecta of demons… the fact that you understand the term trifecta does bother me but I digress… my brothers and sisters in Christ here she is on Easter Sunday morning… she’d rather be near quote a dead savior then live people… you know why… because she has the gift of perseverance… she’s got to get up in front of soldiers that have already had their way with her… she’s got to get to a tomb to a boulder so big that she can’t move… it’s been sealed by Pilate himself… but yet she’d rather get up and be next to that then live people… that is the gift of perseverance… the first to see the risen Christ… before Peter himself the Vicar… my brothers in Christ that is the amount of resolve that you and I have to have… did you know according to tradition Peter said Lord why did you show up to her… I mean I am your Vicar… you did change my name… I’m the only apostle to have a name change… you quoted me over one hundred and eighty times in scripture… John’s only quoted thirty… my brothers and sisters in Christ my name is always at the top of the list… Judas is always at the bottom… I’m the only one that’s been given keys… matter of fact I’m the lead in the apostles’ creed… I’m the one that broke all ties… I’m the one that said circumcision is not necessarily valid… I’m the one that started healing… I gave the first homily… why would you show up to her if I’m your Vicar… you know what he said… I looked for you… and did not see you… that has got to be the measure of your resolve my brothers and sisters in Christ… what it must have been to be Peter… every time you open your mouth you seem to stick your foot in it… but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s the Vicar of Christ… but remember this yeah that’s true that he tried to walk on water… right Lord if it is you tell me to come… one out of twelve got out of that boat… there’s eleven other guys in that boat my brothers and sisters in Christ…  nobody else got out of that boat… Lord if it is you tell me to come… Come Peter… Peter begins… and he does walk on water… now I have to admit if I was living in the day and I was in the boat I would have probably convinced Judas this is a good time for you to get out there and do something… that’s just my nature… but my brothers and sisters in Christ did you notice when Peter was drowning not one person tried to help him… stick out their hand… even if it’s a crocodile arm… here take it grab my hand quick hurry up… my brothers and sisters in Christ that is the measure of Peter’s perseverance… and give his wife her due… her name is Porphyria… because if she doesn’t agree that he’s got to be the Vicar of Christ then upon this rock we have no church… and according to tradition just so you know thirty three years later… Peter is crucified upside down and for three hours upside down… try to stand on your head for five minutes… he proclaims the Gospel… do you know we believe that she was killed either the same day or the same week… and what does he tell his wife Porphyria… go with God… my brothers and sisters in Christ our best players are the ones that finish what they started… all of them are great sinners but they all have the gift of perseverance… 
  5. So now here you and I sit two thousand years later… how good are you at persevering… well I’ll tell you what let’s see… my brothers and sisters in Christ will you persevere with your prayers even when you know you’re praying for your children and they can’t seem to get out of the woods… Father I’ve been praying for my daughter... I’ve been praying for my son… but look at him… oh my God I mean we can’t get a job… we’re in drugs… we got alcohol I don’t know who their dating… their dating the wrong people… oh my God look at him Father I mean I can’t help him… I tell you what… stop praying… that’s it cut it all off nobody prays for nobody… now watch your son and daughter fall… your prayers kept them from falling all the way down… and the day you give up the ghost is the day they buy in… you only think they’re at the bottom… your prayers have power… they have intention… because you’re persevering… you’re like the Gospel you’re going to knock on that door until somebody answers or if not you’re going to stand in front of that king until he gives up the ghost… that has got to be the measure of your resolve… how many times have you prayed for something and you said man he’s not listening to me… and man you get all upset… I prayed for work… I’m praying for a job… I’m praying for my relationship… for my children and my parents… I’m praying for the test that’s coming up… I’m praying for this and for that… and you get so frustrated you say you know what I’m just tired of praying he’s not listening… okay you want to have a pity party good go have it… you through yet... get back in the game… because at the end of the day perseverance is what wins this fight… man Father if I pray one more prayer I’m going to spit… spit… now get back in the game… what is the measure of your resolve… my brothers and sisters in Christ when that phone rings and it’s your friend… and you know when you get on that phone you’re going to be one hour… your whole life will be down the tubes… you’ll be back at point A no matter what happens but you get one the phone because that’s what you do Simon… you answer the phone you finish the race… you persevere… because they can’t make it without you… that’s why they call on you Simon… that’s why your family… you’re the only one that has a cell phone number that everybody knows… at work you got a thousand employees but you’re the only one that rings… every time that there’s a problem in the family you’re the only one that get’s called… there’s a problem at work that’s down the street… this has got to be the measure of your resolve… that you will take the call Simon because that’s what you do… because that’s the gift you got… you got to get up and you got to finish this thing… that’s why you get the grace and they do not… you’ve got to persevere my brothers and sisters in Christ… when you put your head down at night before you go to pray do you actually literally bend that knee thanking God for the roof over your head… the clothes on your back… and for a family that still loves you… or do you say Father I was so tired… I got in bed… I started praying the rosary and I fell asleep but don’t worry… I’m thinking okay what am I worrying about again… and they say because don’t worry about it my angel finished my prayers… I’m thinking your angel is in heaven what do you care… you finish your prayers… you start a rosary… you finish a rosary… you started the prayer you finish the prayer… let me ask you… when you go to pray… will you persevere in prayer when nobody else make’s the sign of the cross… oh so that’s where we are in the world… they come to you and everybody in that room is of another faith and you’re the only Catholic… will you break out the sign of the cross clearly and distinctly… or will you give them one of these… my brothers and sisters in Christ what is the measure of your resolve… stop apologizing for being Catholic… at the end of the day Ezekiel said the mark of the cross on the forehead will save you… if you do not acknowledge Christ in front of people… how will he acknowledge you before his father… you must persevere in your prayer life… you must persevere in helping one another… love of God and love of church… my brothers and sisters in Christ I don’t care what you think and you’re tired and exhausted and exasperated… you get up and you finish that race… the good Lord may have won the race but you dang sure better finish it… let me tell you and make sure you understand this… the devil… hates you… because you’ve been made in his image… the very mention of your name causes him to spit… he will do whatever he can do distract you… he will throw things in your way to pull you away from him… and he will get people to call you or to text you… they’ll get that one proverbial message and man I got to tell you you’ll take a hostage… I’ll prove it to you… you’re sitting on the beach… It’s five o’clock somewhere… good you understand where I’m at… you’re under that umbrella and there is nobody out there… you got you got you a really big glass of Holy water… somebody comes up and mentions one name… you could take that umbrella and wrap it around their neck and throw them in the gulf and sleep all night long… that is the measure of the evil one… do not think for one second that he sits on one side of the path and the good Lord sits on the other and you and I walk down the middle… and all of a sudden they just look at one another well let’s see if we get them… oh man we almost got them we’ll get him next time… the measure of his resolve is to drag you into hell… and your family with you… and if you honestly believe because you haven’t killed somebody you got a ticket to paradise… or that you can proclaim him to be your savior… you’ve totally missed what he said… my brothers and sisters in Christ there’s a difference between redemption… it’s the crucifixion… and salvation is the pearly gate… just because he died on the cross you and I don’t get a free pass… he told you in scripture… one out of four is going to finish… one out of four… my brothers and sisters in Christ you hang in there… you persevere and you pray… and may the devil pull it out of your dead hands when your through… and you’re welcomed into the kingdom so when the good Lord sees you he says welcome home my child… I have watched you… man am I so proud of you… welcome… to the table of all my children… or will he say depart from me for I don’t know you… you persevere and you finish…
  6. And I leave you with this even the snails made it to the ark… finish what you start… 

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