Homily Yoke - July 7, 2023

Matthew 11:25-30      7-9-2023      (As built, Amite #550) 

  1. Yoke… as in burden… burdensome… 
  2. You know why I like Michael… I like him because he’s Catholic… I wish he was more Catholic but I’ll meet him where he is… you know he’ll tell you in the seventies he grew up in a very Catholic family… he was one of I think five children… and he’ll tell you he went to a Catholic grammar school… went to a Catholic high school… I think it was like a boarding school called The Academy… if you asked Michael what is the one burden… what is the one yoke that you carried… and he’d say you know what I still carry it today… and they said well how can that be who you are and your popularity I mean oh my gosh… he said it’s my height… or the lack thereof he said man it’s stuck with me a long time… he says now age and wisdom tempers it but I’ll be honest with you it’s always bothered me… he said because man in high school he said think about it… he said man I can’t play sports… he said which is going to severely diminish your dating skills… and he said that ain’t bad enough I mean what position can you play… or what can you do… and he said so man I go through high school and I’m petrified about what I’m going to do when I get out… and he says so my sister comes to me and says Michael I want you to be a hairdresser… no… he said I am not going to do it… I will not do it… she said look just come to one class… one… you don’t like it you’re out but you come to one class… he said i’m going to one class I guarantee you i’m out… they open the doors… forty women and two men… he yells out I’m home… Michael goes in and Michael’s personality is that he makes everybody king for a day… his sister said it was like I mean our little hairdresser place it just blew up… he said man he’s applying makeup he’s cutting hair and pretty soon man the studio needed somebody to put makeup on actors… so man he goes and does that… well man they need an extra… Michael… we need a stand in… Michael… you need how many… oh Michael can handle that… he said man next thing you know man he’s in bits and pieces… and then he gets his big break… he said where his height really didn’t matter because he was in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest… for the six people who saw it… it was fantastic… as a result he gets in another one Throw Mama from the Train… and then he goes into another one called Jewel of the Nile… he’s in a series a sitcom called Taxi… he played the Penguin… oh man my brothers and sisters in Christ you know him as Danny Michael DeVito… my brothers and sisters in Christ I’ve got to tell you to this day… there was an interview he game… only him could say this right… he said so is your definition of successful Michael is that you finally made it… right you’ve gotten over being somewhat small in statue if you will… but look at you… he said oh that’s not the definition of successful… he said well what would that be… he said successful for a man… is supplying enough money to pay for everything your wife wants… that’s the definition… he said well what’s the definition for a female… to marry a man who can make sure he meets the demands of everything that you want…
  3. My brothers and sisters in Christ it’s about carrying a yoke… that is that Gospel… my brothers and sisters in Christ four times in about twenty sentences… you hear him speak about that his burden is light… his yoke is easy and his burden is light… my brothers and sisters in Christ now stop let’s make sure you understand something… let’s understand where Christ is when he starts making these statements… he’s now traveled to four cities… the first three have rode him out on a rail… he goes to Capernaum… he goes to Bethseda… he stops at one other and now he’s finally come to their city… and so the expectations is where is this going… and he’s saying you know you’re trying to carry the weight of the world… and then he says let's start with a prayer… now I don’t know if you listened to his prayer but in his prayer he’s speaking to God as an equal… nobody’s ever done that… so when he’s praying he’s not praying as if there’s something like you and I do… to a greater good… he’s praying to an equal… and then he says man from heaven and earth… from the very beginning nobody ever says that because that’s Genesis… he’s saying I was in the very beginning with the good Lord… with God… my brothers and sisters in Christ he’s trying to tell everybody I am who I am… so when I tell you that I will take the burden from you provided you give it to me and do not take it back… then your life will be very laminar even though you may think there are hills and valleys it will become so systematic because you’ve given it to me… 
  4. Now my brothers and sisters in Christ think for a minute… our best players are people that can carry water well beyond their means… I mean let’s be honest… let’s say I’ll tell you what… you’re going to walk with the Blessed Mother… from Thursday morning till Sunday at three o’clock… make sure you understand where I’m at… you’re going to meet from that Thursday morning… or Friday morning… all the way till three o’clock on Sunday when he dies… and you will not curse one time… you will not have one negative thought… you will not disparage one person walking on by… you will not walk by and give somebody the look… not one sin… that’s what she does… so for her to be able to do that… must be an that she must have given it over to her son because she knows this must happen so that you and I can do this… so therefore she must have already given it to him… I’m not saying she didn’t suffer that’d be a fools bet… what I’m trying to tell you is that the only way she could carry that burden is that she had to give it to him and just continue to pray… I’ll tell you what let’s take something less than… you’re Peter you have lived on the Sea of Galilee… and actually I’ve got to tell you… you’re doing okay… you do owe a few taxes but which of us doesn’t… but as a result of it you work on the Sea of Galilee and you actually have a couple of boats under your name… you’re pretty much know throughout capernaum… as a matter of fact my brothers and sisters in Christ you’re house is a stones throw from the Synagogue… and here all of a sudden this guy comes you drop your nets and you’ve been with Peter for the last forty years… because he’s older than Christ… you’ve been with his man everything thick and thin… buying the first boats going out… making sure you pay the debt making sure you pay the tax man… you’re actually going out net fishing in the middle of the night just to have enough fish the next morning to make sure you can sell them to make sure you get enough money to make sure you can pay your taxes… and he walks up to you and says I need you to come with me… you drop your nets immediately you don’t even mend them… you pull the boats up on the shore… he said we got to stop in my house for a minute let me tell Porphyria that we’re going to be gone for the next three years… that they are welcome to follow me because I’m going to be a fisher of men… you can’t give Peter the look… you can’t say well wait a minute I need to run home… anybody that puts a hand to the plow will never look back… if you think you need to bury your mother or your father then you will never come back… you’ve got to walk right now… you’ve got to leave with Peter… you can’t curse… you can’t say have you lost what little bit of a mind you have… my brothers and sisters in Christ you’ve got to pick up your toys and go… that is the measure of somebody that’s going to be able to carry their yoke provided they give it to the good Lord… man you don’t think somewhere along the line I would have given a months pay… okay that’s not anything I get that trust me I get that… to see that conversation between him and Porphyria… honey I’m home… oh thank God because I’ve got to tell you the freezer is empty… they don’t have freezers but Okay work with me… do what… what do you mean we don’t have anything… we owe the tax man I’ve got to get this thing… I’ve got to get the nets in… we’ve got to eat… oh no no… I’m going to be a fisher of men… well that’s great honey… but I suggest you get back in the boat and take you’re little sibling with you… and y’all go back out and fish… that is the only way you can carry that yoke… is if you gave it to him and didn’t take it back… it doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts and how do you and I know that… because when the good Lord ascended into heaven the Apostles were still looking at him even after he’s long gone the angel had to tell them okay now it’s time for you to go even though you have doubts it’s not a question of whether you have questions… it’s not a question whether you have doubts… the question is you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a fundamental belief… my brothers and sisters in Christ therein lies the point… he makes a powerful statement in scripture… the good Lord’s now talking to you and I two thousand years later he’s telling you and I look from this point forward… listen to what I’m telling you… you’ve got to be a man and woman of your word… you’ve got to promise me that when you give it to me you give me your word you will not take it back… I promise you I will make all things good… he said it not my words… I will give you peace and I will make all things right… but you’ve got to give it to me and not take it back… on my time when I want it… in or out… that’s what he’s asking you… he’s telling you and I for my yoke is easy and my burden is light… learn from me… I am meek and humble of heart… my yoke is easy and my burden is light… now replace that with the word grace… my grace is easy… my grace is light… learn from me… it’s my grace… you give it to me and you do not take it back and I promise you your life will come extremely laminar… my brothers and sisters in Christ that’s what I’m talking to you about… that’s why I keep preaching to you do you walk out of here walk out those doors with the same worry you walk in here with… are you kidding me… after everything you and I know and after all the scriptures we study… and in all the prayers and the sacrifices you’re still taking the worry out… have you forgotten that this is his church… have you forgotten that he is God and we are not thank God… but more importantly why would you take it back… my brothers and sisters in Christ if you and I could have solved the problem we would have already done so… he’s trying to get you and I to understand that you’ve got to stop trying to put your hands around it and put your hands together… he said you need to call on me… because you can’t solve this problem by yourself… he said why because it’s not going to be your actions that need to change it’s their actions… is it your family… is it your spouse… is it your children… is it your parents… it’s your neighbors… it’s your boss… how do you think they’re going to get better by you working harder maybe to a point… but at the end of the day it’s going to take the spirit Ruah… pneumatic it’s going to take the spirit to change them… are they of the flesh are they of the world to come… the spirit… he’s saying look if you walk out those doors then you have forgotten why you’ve come… that’s why we’re here that’s why we’re praying… my brothers and sisters in Christ when you receive the Eucharist don’t you see the trade-off… he’s saying if you take me the more you take me the more you will be like me… you go to more communions… you become more like me… pretty soon giving things to me has become second nature… the problem is you give me a date stamp… then if it’s not bad enough you give me instructions on how to solve it… and then when you don’t get your way you pout and you turn your head from me… but yet weeks earlier you said you handle it Lord I can’t take it no more… and then you just take it from me… I love you so much I will not trample on your free will… I’m going to respect it to the day you stand before me because that’s why I gave it to you… so that you could love me freely… and without any reservations… so if you give it to me then leave it with me… trade off… that’s why my yoke is easy because I control the world… you don’t think I brought a problem to you without a solution… the solution is me… that’s the solution… listen if this was a jar full of grace… and everyone of you get one before you leave… and with it comes a yoke… a burden… a sacrifice… he said I’m going to give it to you… and every time you complain about it I’m going to open the valve and you’re going to lose a little bit of grace… every time you complain or call or curse… you’re going to lose a little more grace… he said I’m eventually going to solve it how much grace is going to be left in that jar when it’s done… the more grace you have the more you become like me… the more you become like me the more grace you get it’s self-fulfilling… the more you love me the more you’ll study me… the more you study me the more you love me… he said you show it in your actions… so if you would just take it… and carry it and let me be God… my brothers and sisters in Christ do you honestly believe that you and I can fix the president… thank you… do you honestly think you can fix the church… the only way that’s going to happen is through prayer… the only way that’s going to happen is you and I offer sacrifice… so when you come to the alter… now look let me tell you it’s not easy… it’s an oversimplification… maybe so… but it doesn’t make it any less true… you take that worry that you guaranteed to leave here… Lord it’s my father it’s my mother… it’s my children… it’s my husband… it’s my wife… it’s my work… it’s this that or the other… when you leave it… it’s his… don’t you pick it back and go back to your pew… now remember this… three people put thoughts into your head… he does… you and I do and so does he… he’s going to put that thought into your head… doesn’t look like he’s answering that prayer… I think he’s dismissed you… I don’t even think he’s listening… you know while we’re on the topic are you sure he’s there… pretty soon you’re going to get so mad you’re going to turn your back on God… have you ever thought for a minute the reason he doesn’t answer your prayers right away is because he doesn’t hear from you until you need something else… so he might as well just keep you in the conversation… at least he gets to talk to you more he gets to see you more… you’ll spend weeks praying for something… the minute you get it you give him about one Hail Mary… one Our Father… about thirty seconds and you’re off and running… he said what if I wanted minute per minute back… my brothers and sisters in Christ don’t you understand… he loves you… you’re everything to him… nothing happens to you that he doesn’t ordain not a hair on you’re head not to your children your job your work the world your neighbors friends or family… nothing happens… the only thing that happens to you is what he wants… he brings you to it he’ll bring you through it provided you take your hands off the wheel… you’ve got to give it to him and you’ve got to leave it with him… my brothers and sisters in Christ he wants to give you the grace so that you can grow and pretty soon it really doesn’t matter what that person says… it really doesn’t matter what happens in the world because at the end of the day Lord I belong to you… for your yoke is easy and your burden is light… your grace is easy your grace is light… 
  5. My brothers and sisters in Christ there’s a great story… it goes something like this… a man comes into church he is incensed at his brother… true story… he gets in church and he begins to yell at God… you ain’t helping me… I’ve prayed to you… you’ve ignored me… you ain’t doing what I asked you to do… he said every time I see my brother it’s a free for all… true story… he walks out of church sees his brother cutting across the parking lot… he thinks they think one gave them a sign… they’re in a free for all in the parking lot… cops got to come man they’re separating people… man they beat each other to a pulp… he comes back into the church and he starts yelling at God… well good job it did going to you… you said pray for patience what good it did… and then all of a sudden and the man will tell you… clear as a bell… how will you ever grow if I don’t test you… and expand you so that you can love me with a greater capacity… I gave you the gift and you ignored it… it’s got to be put into play… pretty soon no matter what your brother said or thought… did or walked… it would have little impact on you it would be negligible… my brothers and sisters in Christ I’m telling you… he loves you… it’s all the way to the ends of the earth… man he was with you before you were born…he is with you every step of the way… he never leaves you… he is right by your side he knows your thoughts… your understandings… your biggest hurts your biggest worries… talk to him… tell him… tell him everything that’s just driving you into the ground… talk to him… I promise you… he’ll stay with you every step of the way and give you a peace that’s just it’s unfathomable… 
  6. My brothers and sisters in Christ I leave you with the words of Teresa of Avila… I don’t know if you know her this is back in the day of you know covered wagons… she has come across a conundrum… a yoke a burden… she’s got to take her and several of her sisters to another convent a storm is coming… she packs them all up into a wagon I.E the west days right… they’re traveling in a wagon and of course everybody thinks Mother Teresa has lost her mind…she’s trying to get them to safety because she’s already been told by the good Lord… you’ve got to go… pack up your sisters and leave… she gets to a river… the river’s starting to pick up… she’s trying to decide do I cross in this or do we just walk it on in… she decides to get out and test the waters… she gets out… now this is mother Teresa of Avila… she slips and falls all the way down the embankment… into the drink… a little bit further down the stream where she gets pushed up on shore… they said when she stands up she is caked with mud… she little like a mountain… so the sisters you’re trying not to laugh it’s mother Superior… you go over there wiping her face and they said well mother… what do you think… and she says well I was just asking the good Lord… and I just asked him Lord I thought I was your friend… and he said… but you are Teresa… and she said well now I understand why you have so few… 

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