Homily Small Steps - March 12, 2023

John 4:5-42      3-12-2023     As built, Amite #536)

  1. Small steps… small incremental steps…  
  2. The year is nineteen thirty and I’ve got to tell you Eddie is the man… you live in Chicago and you get into trouble… jaywalking, stealing, murder or Shoplifting… Eddie is the attorney for you… everybody wants Eddie… your fault my fault nobody’s fault… Eddie’s your attorney… he’s got a license to print money… it’s the nineteen thirties everybody’s going through a depression… not Eddie he’s making it hand over fist… he’s doing so well he’s just got visions of sugar plums and dreams of champagne… and then that proverbial day happens… he gets a visit from someone who comes in and says Eddie I need you to come work for me… I own most of the gaming industry I need you to run my dog track my race track… put it this way Eddie your track my track nobody’s track I need you to run my gaming industry… he tells him look I appreciate you but at the end of the day I got it I’m good where I’m at I’m just going to keep being an attorney… the problem is Al doesn’t take no very well… that’s always been Al’s problem… and he said no Eddie you’re going to come work for me… now you think you got a license to print money… wait until you run the gaming industry for me… he said man you can’t even imagine you’re going to be Fort Knox in and of yourself… so he follows him… now you’ve probably figured out it’s Chicago it’s the nineteen thirties right and all of a sudden gaming is big… Al Capone… absolutely…  but here’s what you don’t know about Eddie… he starts making money hand over fist and I’ve got to tell you he’s right… it was a license to print money on an exaggerated scale… it was Fort Knox… he had so much money coming in he didn’t even know where to begin and then all of a sudden things change yet again… you see Eddie brings a son into the world Eddie Jr. and now all of a sudden man the world is different… man do I keep doing what I’m doing because man what do I leave for my son… man what kind of name do I leave for my son… what kind of trapping do I leave for him because if something happens to me… man everybody is going to see him as an attachment he’s just part of Al Capone… man so he starts taking small steps… he starts trying to wean himself back from the gaming industry which you know how that’s going to play out… as a result of it man he starts taking small steps… he starts going back to church he baptizes his child… next thing you know he starts praying the rosary… small steps… and then that day comes… the FBI comes to him and said we need you to go against Al Capone.. and he does turn on Al.. as a matter of fact that’s how we get Al Capone on tax evasion… because of Eddie… well now what you don’t know about Eddie is about five days after he testifies against big Al and Al goes to jail he ends up dead… the only thing that he has in his pocket is a rosary… small steps… his son grows up ends up going into the Air Force… becomes one of the first people ever a fighter pilot to ever win the congressional Medal of Honor… so good at what he did… because his dad took the small steps to make sure that he  had a future all on his own in his own name… that he’s so good at what he does we all name the airport in Chicago after him… Eddie O’Hare international… small steps my brothers and sisters in Christ you can conquer the world…  
  3. That is exactly that Gospel… the good Lord is taking small steps to convert the woman and bring her back to the faith… he does it by sitting by a well… now stop let’s remember this… my brothers in Christ you know where Samaria is now… it is between if you will the Sea of Galilee and here in Jerusalem… it is somewhat like no man’s land… they are partially Jewish and Partially another nationality… Jews don’t like them because their other nationalities… the other nationalities don’t like them because they’re Jewish … they even worship on a different mountain… when the woman comes to the well/// small steps… let’s look at it from the perspective of Jesus Christ… Christ sit’s by the well knowing full well that she will come to the well… he talks to her about getting some water… small steps... then he talks to her about the living water… small steps… then all of a sudden he talks to her that she not only has one husband… two husbands… she’s had five husbands… she’s working on her sixth who’s living with her… six to a Jew is the most incomplete number in the world… my brothers and sister sin Christ think about what I’m telling you… Christ is the seventh man… we actually believe she probably became a religious after that incident… as a result of unit he finally tells her I am… so man when she goes to him man I got to tell you man he goes from talking to the well speaking about water… talking about telling her where she’s come from… and now he’s the Great I Am… look at it from her perspective… first he’s a guy sitting next to a well… he’s a Jewish man… the next thing I know he’s polite… the next thing I know he’s a prophet… then I come to find out my brothers and sisters in Christ that he’s the Great I Am… it happens at noon which is the sixth hour… by the time he finishes talking to her it’s the end of the seventh hour… it’s complete… she now knows exactly who he is… the number two represent that there’s always a beginning and an end… five loaves of bread and two fish… you had the Old Testament the good Lord’s here to feed five thousand there’s the New Testament… he’s telling her you’ve learned about the Old Testament and now you’re about to hear the New Testament… my brothers and sisters in Christ it’s small steps that win the day… 
  4. Now listen to this go back in scripture… all of our better players are people that can take incremental steps… so for example… take Simon of Cyrene… Simon of Cyrene in three hours because he takes small steps three hours… he goes from seeing Christ as a criminal… to the Messiah… in three hours… think about what happens to him… he does not see one miracle… he doesn’t see the blind see the lame walk or the dead rise… all he knows is that he’s conscripted in the army… which they can do on a daily basis… up to possibly a week… that means the Romans can say congratulations you’re in the army that’s why he’s got to do it… my brothers in Christ he’s got two sons… Rufus and Alexander… he’s got to leave them with whoever is there… once he gets blood on him he’s going to be asked to leave and they’re going to quarantine him up to fourteen days… so he doesn’t see his children probably for a protracted time if that’s not bad enough… he’s got to pick up a cross of a criminal… Rome kills people like there is no tomorrow… what’s two more pieces of wood to them… he’s taking these small steps so quickly…my brothers and sisters in Christ that he actually goes… and if you’ve seen the movie The Passion somewhere along the way he’s almost helping Christ get back… he’s telling him man don’t die here finish this out don’t let them win… and then when he get’s up to the top of Golgotha… did you ever see the movie it’s exactly how it was… he sees that if he leaves him they’re going to crucify him so he’s trying to stay around longer as if somehow or another his presence will protract it… and so what does the Good Lord look at him and say… that’s it… you’ve done what I’ve asked you to do… Simon I just ask you to help carry my cross… and because you did… man you’ve got the blood of Christ on you… now I bet you want to hand on to them garments… now I bet you don’t care about being quarantined… now I bet you can’t wait to tell your kids man it’s not a lamb… it’s the lamb… small steps take Simon out of nowhere…into the book of everlasting life… two thousand years later we still use his name… my brothers and sisters in Christ if you’re Saul and go to Paul in three days… you go from the biggest hater of Christian’s… a butcher and a murderer… to becoming the greatest Orator in Christ’s arsenal… in three days you’re blind for three days… those incremental steps and the subsequent years to get ready… my brothers in Christ he becomes the greatest player in our day… a gentile church… we don’t have a church if he’s not in the game… what if Mary Magdalene get’s up on Easter Sunday… all by herself… all of the Apostles are sleeping… nobody’s going to the tomb… if anybody has a right to say you know what I’m out… I’ve got seven deadly sins the one guy that cured me is gone… she is so determined to take small steps… even though she can’t open the tomb because of the rock… she’s got to get by soldiers who’ve had their way… she’s willing to take the small steps… my brothers and sisters in Christ that’s all it takes… is small steps… that’s why I’ve got to get you to get in the game… 
  5.  My brothers and sisters in Christ two thousand years later I am begging you if there’s ever a time to get in the game it’s right now… the world is spinning way too fast… and it’s not going to slow down… so my brothers and sisters in Christ I’m asking you to take the small steps to go back to confession… I don’t care if you priest shop I don’t care if you set up an appointment… I don’t care if you’ve got to drive to another city and wear a Magoo mask… I don’t care… go to confession throw up and walk away… close the gap between you and the savior… the further you and I get out the worse troubles we get in… you’re moody, temperamental, angry, condescending, judging and cursing… I can tell you it’s because you haven’t been to confession… I’m not saying you’re not holy but the average holy person in Proverbs sin seven times a day… don’t go for a month that’s two hundred… don’t go for half a year that’s twelve hundred… don’t go for a full year twenty four hundred sins… don’t go for a decade… twenty four thousand… my brothers in Christ small steps win the day… this is why I need you to go to confession… if you and I went to one more mass a month that’s twelve more masses a year… Saint Alphonsus Ligori said one mass… not twelve… one… is more than all the works blessing and prayers of the Holy Mother… so imagine if you went to twelve one a month… what if you really doubled down and you went to two… you took that extra step… what if you took the extra step to go to adoration for just five minutes to bend the knee and say Lord help me… I just can’t carry it… man you’re tired and you’re beat up I get it… man you’re so frustrated you want to have a pity party… great… go have a pity party… are you through now… get back in the game because small steps win the day… slow and steady wins the day… my brothers and sisters in Christ listen to me… the world is spinning too fast… could you do one more prayer a day… could you say a prayer before your head hits the pillow… one small step… my brothers and sisters in Christ listen to me… Faustina goes and talks to souls in purgatory and she asked them what is your one regret… their answer was if we would have gone to one more mass… so why is it that you and I are one this side and it’s almost like we’ve got to pull teeth to get people to go back to the sacraments… i’m telling you listen to me… if you are too far away take that extra step to close the gap… man take that extra step to stop taking that extra drink… take that extra step to turn your computer off… pornography is killing us… i’m telling you it is the most dominant sin in the day… it is already down in our grammar schools that cell phone is killing us… and here’s the irony… they’re telling me things that if you would have heard it from your children’s mouth you would have gone screaming into the night…  and there’s nothing I can do about it… my brothers and sisters in Christ i’m telling you it is the most dominant sin in our game… take that extra step to turn off those cell phones when you sit with your family… turn those cellphones off when you go and sit and visit… turn those computers off when you’re sitting and visiting with your family… for the love of Christ can you turn the television off for a minute and just sit and visit… i’m telling you time is short… the world is spinning too fast… it’s not going to get better just because… my brothers and sisters in Christ i’m begging you… even the snails made it to the ark… small steps… 
  6. And I leave you with this… a small step in the right direction… will be the biggest and greatest step you’ve ever made in your life… small steps…  
  7. Amen.

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