Homily Take a hit - May 14, 2023

John 14:15-21    5-14-2023    (As built, Amite #543) 

  1. Take a hit… can you take the hit and keep going… well can you… well let’s see… 
  2. It’s about the nineteen thirties and the nineteen forties… and the scene is in England and it is brutally cold… I mean it’s the type of temperature that man when you walk out man you can feel it in the marrow of your bones… I mean you literally take the jacket and turn it inwardly… when you walking in the wind you literally bend your head down I mean you can’t get enough warmth… you couldn’t shake to death fast enough to generate enough heat… that’s how cold it is on this proverbial day… but the colonel has decided that notwithstanding that he’s going to go ahead and make the announcement I mean it’s time… he’s divorced from his wife and he would like to get married and so being he’s the colonel and I’ve got to tell you part of the Windsor castle pretty popular place… people want to come… they want to see it they want to be around him they would like to see what goes on behind the walls if you will… so he makes an announcement that he is going to remarry… well this doesn’t sit well with his ex and as a result of it she’s trying to decide what to do… because I’ve got to tell you this is a big hit for her… I mean you know that’s one thing to be married to the colonel and you’re part of Windsor Court and these types of things but I got to tell you now it’s not so great man can she take the hit… she decides she’s had about all she can stand she picks up the phone and she calls him… and says honey let me tell you what… you’re going to have an announcement and guess what… I’m going to come over there and tell everybody what I think of you… now how’s that for an announcement party… she hangs up and she says you know what… I shouldn’t have said that but you know what i’m going to plan the perfect murder…my own… she picks the phone back up and call hims again and tells him just in case you didn’t hear it the first time I’m coming this time… man she hangs up the phone… she goes to her house and gets in the car… she drives her car up to an embankment like a big bar pit where we take the dirt to build the roads… she gets it up to the very precipice she leaves it in neutral… she takes her jacket… throws it on the front seat and I’m going to tell you with every ounce of her being no matter how cold it is she literally pushes and grunts and shoves and finally gets it over and the car goes down the bar pit… man all of a sudden she goes back to the house gets her stuff and she vanishes… well the Colonel’s thinking man I can’t have her come I mean really… he runs and get’s to the house man he’s trying to find her… he’s trying to stop this argument from going public… man he’s looking around the car is gone… can’t find it and all of a sudden it hits him… oh my… she’s at the party… man he jumps back goes back to the party she’s not there… man okay water is down we’re good… next day the police show up… they said Colonel we need to talk to you about last night… he said well man I was here all night… are you sure Colonel because I’ve got to tell you your wife is missing… we think there’s foul play… we haven’t found the body but we believe there’s foul play… you were here all night Colonel… well no I actually you know she called… she was upset rightfully so… and as a result I was trying to appease her and go visit with her and talk with her… and I left… well how long were you gone Colonel… he said about thirty minutes… you know we found her car… oh she set me up… he said look she probably drove it off the cliff… he said well colonel the car was in neutral… and oh well she probably was in there then she left and just pushed it over… and he said well Colonel we found the jacket in the front seat… Colonel can you tell me where you’d been for those thirty minutes because I can tell you it looks like you’re the one… well I’ve got to tell you they actually go to trial… even though they can’t find the body they go to trial… and I’m going to tell you they’re about a week into the trial when all of a sudden she’s found going from one country to the next… somebody recognizes her… man they bring her back obviously man he’s off the hook if you will… well now she’s going to prison… and as a result in one of the interviews she gives she’s talking to her counselor and the counselor tells her man everything you did… man you’re going to have to take a hit like none other… are you able to survive in prison… she says I’ll tell you I took a big hit with this going public… I’ll take another hit and I’ll survive… he said well what are you going to do while you’re in prison… she says I’m going to write murder mysteries… and you know her as Agatha Christie… 
  3. Man my brothers and sisters in Christ that is exactly that Gospel… it’s the ability to take a hit… this is what he tells his apostles… I’m about to leave you… man now all of a sudden everybody is going to get nervous… trepidation… anxiety… worry… he said I’m going to leave you but I’m going to send somebody in my stead… you’ve got to be able to take this hit… and walk without me… the acts of the apostles… now remember stop you’re a first century Jew make sure you understand where he’s at in the world he’s at the Last Supper… he has just washed their feet… Peter has just told him if you’re going to wash my feet then wash my hands and my head… make sure you understand that in the Jewish world before you entered the temple you had to at least wash your feet… then you had to wash your hands and your head… so what he’s telling Peter is let me just wash your feet Peter don’t go overboard just stay with me… he just got finished washing the feet… Peter has told him that he will not deny him… and Judas has just left to do just that… now he’s telling them I will send the Holy Spirit in my stead… 
  4. Now my brothers and sisters in Christ throughout scripture all of our best players are people that can withstand hits… people that can take a hit and keep walking… people that man just seem to bounce back as if they never got hit to begin with… now let me tell you say what you want about Peter… and I do as well… granted he gives you and I plenty of ammunition… but it doesn’t change the fact the man can flat take a hit… if you had to describe Peter that guy is resilient… you can beat that guy like a rented mule and that guy is going to show up… he’s not the same guy in the year thirty to thirty two… where he is imprudent… he speaks without thinking the thought hits his head his jaw opens up and he’s out the box… I mean yeah okay he cut off a mans ear that’s true Malchius… he’s the one that denied his best friend not once not twice but three times… he’s the one that told the good Lord and pulled him on the side if you don’t change what you say people are going to think you’re cannibalistic… he’s the same one where the good Lord called him Satan… I mean not like a bad guy hey watch what you say… he called him the nemesis… my brothers and sisters in Christ what Peter learns is that he absolutely can take a hit… you think about Peter’s life he goes through all of these things… man from denying his best friend to not even showing up at the crucifixion to cutting a mans ear off… man he thought he could walk on water… but he does… you don’t think thirty three years later when he goes to give a homily somebody doesn’t stand up in the middle of the congregation and say aren’t you a piece of work… man I was in the garden… I was one of the soldiers… you thought nothing about taking a mans ear… and as a matter of fact you would have cut his head off if he hadn’t moved you only got his ear… you don’t think there’s somebody else in the congregation that’s going to stand up and say well why should I listen to you… you didn’t even listen to your own boss you denied his three times… actually you contradicted him… my brothers and sisters in Christ what Peter has is the ability to take a hit and keep walking… when he’s drowning in the water there’s eleven other guys in that boat not one guy walked out and said man here that’s our boss let me help him… now granted… if I had been in the boat with the twelve… it would’ve been my job to convince Peter this is a good time to let Judas go… let him see what he can do… okay… but that’s my nature… but I tell this why… because Peter’s ability to take a hit is what makes him Képhas… in our language Cephas… this is why John and Paul call him the massive boulder… because Peter is the guy… and let me tell you give Peter’s wife her due as well… Porphyria… if she doesn’t agree and she doesn’t buy in… he doesn’t become the vicar… man I’m telling you my brothers and sisters in Christ the blind see… the lame walk and the dead rise… Peter is so dominant by the year sixty-six that when they would go through the colonnade which would look kind of like our church… that they would have people that would be handicapped… crippled… diseased… leprosy… it would be so full between the columns that he couldn’t even walk through they would actually take part of his garment and lay it on people so that he could cure them… that’s where you and I get relics… that is the ability to take a hit… Paul is the same way… one day you’re Saul money fame and fortune… three days after being blinded… and let’s make sure you understand… he doesn’t know he’s going to be blind for three days… he’s blinded… he’s lost everything… and the next thing you know he’s being baptized and being brought into the faith… my brothers and sisters in Christ did you know that he got scourged over two hundred times… I’ll tell you what would you give up the ghost after the first scourging… it’s a set of forty… he had five sets of forty in the Jewish world… you would get scourged up to forty lashes… would you give up the ghost after the first forty… the second one… the third one… much less the fifth one… what if you got on a boat and it sank… what if you got on another boat and it sank… what if you got on three boats that sank and if that wasn’t bad enough you swam to the shore and when you got there you got bit by a viper… would you give up the ghost then… what if you’re Veronica… you’re going to stop the whole crucifixion to wipe his face… you don’t think she caught something from that… you don’t think the soldiers did something to her as a result of stopping their crucifixion… you don’t think Pilate had something to say… man she didn’t get out of that world free… my brothers and sisters in Christ I’m trying to tell you our best players… Mary Magdalene… you have all seven deadly sins… no body in scriptures got this… pride, anger, gluttony, lust, avarice, sloth and envy… yet she’s the first to see the risen Christ… my brothers and sister sin Christ you don’t think everywhere she went somebody didn’t know her… intimately… you don’t think somebody made that comment… intimately… you don’t think everywhere she went someone said oh you’re just tied to Lazarus… my brothers and sisters in Christ look at Lazarus… he’s got to die twice just to prove Christ is the Messiah… that is resilient… that is taking a hit… 
  5. Well now here we sit two thousand years later… can you and I take a hit… well let’s see… my brothers and sisters in Christ when you get that email… or that text message… that you know is dead wrong… it is a lie from the beginning to the end… how do you respond in the words of Saint Peter… clearly with high conscience on the high ground… pardon out the subtleties but understanding… my brothers and sisters in Christ will you be able to take a hit when the Gospel of facebook pronounces you unworthy… well you’ve got to respond because that’s what everybody believes I mean Father they surely wouldn’t print a lie… my brothers and sisters in Christ when your boss… your co-worker… your family speaks against you… will you be resilient and take the hit and keep doing what you know to be the truth… when somebody asks you to pray will you make the sign of the cross clearly and distinctly or will you short arm it… and give them one of these… when everybody else begins to pray will you make the sign of the cross because that’s what you are… because you are Catholic and we need to stop apologizing for it… for sixteen hundred years you are either a Jew or you are Catholic… Catholic means according to the whole… it became so popular it became universal… you gather in one place… you listen to the scriptures… you break bread… and you sing the psalms you are no longer considered Jew… my brothers and sisters in Christ will you take the hit for being a Catholic… will you take the hit for doing the right thing the right way… will you take the hit about being prudent and maybe not fighting every argument… you don’t have to win every argument… it’s not the last man standing… the only thing that is important is will you get up and get back in the game… when somebody totally dismisses you and your family ostracizes you… will you get up and get back in the game because at the end of the day it’s not between you and them… it’s between you and him anyway… your ability to take a hit and get back in the game… listen to what I’m telling you… you don’t have to win the fight but you do have to finish it… I’m telling you if somebody dismisses you… you want to have a pity party… great… you finished… get in the game… you want to go home and kick your neighbors dog… do so when they’re not there after that get back in the game… what I need you to understand is you’ve got to finish what you’ve started… he’s already won the game for you and I but you and I have been given a right to finish it… you’ve got to persevere in your faith… I don’t care how many times you get beat down you’ve got to get up… how many times you get pushed aside by your family or work or your friends… you’ve got to get back in the game… I’m telling you the whole fight is between you and him… at the end of the day the good Lord is going to come to you and it’s going to be on the judgment day and you’re going to hear one of two comments from him… Child welcome… welcome to the table of all of my children… I’ve watched you persevere … I watched you take that hit… I watched you get up and get back in the game… I’ve watched them maul you and push you down and guess what… I knew you would get up I saw it I’m so proud of you… welcome… come… or he’s going to say depart from me… man when it was time to acknowledge me you dismissed me… and everything I gave you…
  6. My brothers and sisters in Christ I leave you with these words… there was a great basketball player… probably the greatest of all time… he’s doing an interview later in life… and they’re interviewing him and the interviewer says this… you know sir… you missed over nine thousand shots… he said that’s true… he said you know sir… you lost over three hundred games… he said yeah that’s true… he said you know they gave you the ball in the last second of the game you lost twenty-six times… nine thousand shots three hundred games lost twenty-six shots that you had and you missed… what do you have to say about it… he said I can tell you this… that’s why I’m successful… because I can take a hit… Michael Jordan… finish what you started… take the hit and get back in the game… 

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In particular those who draw near to the teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church. 

We strive to achieve this by utilizing the Cardinal Virtues of Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude.