2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21; 1-27-2019 (As Built; Amite #338)
 
A. Effort… Effort… As in put forth your best effort… Your best foot forward… 
B. It’s the 1950s… His name well his name is Archie… Archie lives in Bristol, England… And you know what’s amazing… Archie has two desires… He’s a simple guy a simple desire… One he wants to be in the circus number two Archie wants to live in the United States… His parents do OK I mean they make ends meet… At the age of six Archie meets the Penderton‘s… now for you and I that’s the Ringling Brothers of England… And as a result he’s trying to convince them that he should be in the circus… I mean he six… They have one opening… The stilt guy… You know the guy that’s on the stilts got the big top hat and a vest throwing candy walking around the big three rings under the tent… Six years old man he is all in… Archie is… He’s so in they can’t help but give them the job… He loves it… He put so much effort in it even in practice… This guys all in… Man then all of a sudden by the age of 13… Man if dreams don’t come true… They get a job offering… The Penderton’s to go to Coney Island… He can’t believe it he gets to Coney Island and then it’s all new again… He’s all in… As a matter of fact… He meets a guy from Ringling Brothers they kinda befriend one another… And he tells Archie…  I don’t think now Archie’s 13 at this time… And he says I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody put that type of effort into being a stilt guy he said I watched you practice he said it’s believable… You said you stay in character for lack of better term all the time… He said you know someday… Someday with maybe that effort maybe somebody will see you and put you in the movies… Can you imagine… Ringling Brothers gives him a job so you can stay in the 
States he stays in the States and of all the people he meets he meets Fay Ray… Now if you don’t know who Fay Ray is she was the original in the original King Kong she’s the blonde that he is smitten with… If a gorilla could be smitten I don’t know I’m just telling you the story brothers and sisters in Christ… So you can piecemeal this thing together… Because I’m gonna die a miserable death based on what I just seen… And as a result of it… Man he gets in two movies and one of them is I DID HIM WRONG… And the other was I’M NO ANGEL… and a small as the parts might’ve been Archie excels at it… So much that so that Alford Hitchcock sees them… And Alford Hitchcock says man I got roles for you… He gets him in the movie TO CATCH A THIEF… And then another one called NOTORIOUS… well man next things you know the world is starting to grow for him… He’s a good looking man he’s handsome he’s kind of debonair he’s got a great lead guy… But I got to tell you the name Archie ain’t selling… And as a result of it… man he starts getting another movies like NORTH BY NORTHWEST or Northeast… He gets another one OPERATION PETTICOAT… If you haven’t seen it it’s absolutely hilarious… He gets in another one brothers and sisters in Christ called THE BISHOPS WIFE… OK let me help you hear THE BISHOPS WIFE was supposed to be the seller brothers and sisters in Christ… He changes his name to Cary… Cary Grant… For the 8 people that now know who I’m talking about you’re all tax exempt from this issue my brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s all about the effort that Archie goes forth with… 
C. That’s the gospel… That’s the whole point… In other words Luke is not make sure you understand he is not an apostle… He is a physician by trade… He is writing a letter did you listen to his words… I went and found eyewitnesses I wrote and orderly account… As a matter of fact… I made sure I checked all the important facts… Now remember your first century Jew… You know who the Theophilus is he’s not make-believe… Yes… If you and I were to backdate and translate his name… It means befriended by God… But he says most excellent Theophilus… Another words he’s probably a Pharisee or Sadducees… He’s high ranking… He’s the lead guy in the synagogue… Luke’s trying to convince him that Christ is the Messiah… He has probably not met Paul… He surely didn’t meet Christ… So he’s trying to say look you know me… You know my nature as a physician… You know what I’m about to do… And let me tell you… If you and I translate the words back to the Greek which is so important in our world today… When he says eyewitness the Greek word is called aftoptis… You know what it means this is where you and I get autopsy… He got so detailed he would go into the matter of the bones… So detailed on eyewitnesses… and the eyewitness… Catechesism… Catechesis… He made sure that he didn’t get a drive-by… He didn’t get somebody that thought they saw something… He went to the witnesses… He went to the apostle’s… He’s a follower Paul… He’s saying I got the orderly account from Mark… And you know Mark… Even though he wasn’t an apostles… He’s trying to say I wrote it orderly… I only used it from witnesses… And I’ve verified all the facts… And the reading from Isaiah is true… Now remember you and I live back in the day… if you and I were to go to a synagogue… A synagogue is not the temple no priest watches over the synagogue… Only the locals watch over the synagogue… Laypeople… So what’s happening is he’s trying to convince the local lead guy… Theophilus… That this guy is for real… Now remember the difference is the temple is only where the priest are in Jerusalem… So therefore not anyone can speak in a synagogue you Gotta be allowed to speak… For him to be allowed to speak about the good Lord they must’ve thought something of it… But here’s the setting… The first reading is from the first five books of the old testament… The second reading is from the Prophets… The good Lord only reads the second Reading… He wasn’t that even acceptable to read the first reading… Brothers and sisters in Christ therein lies the point… And you know what’s amazing… You and I stand for the gospel you and I stand when I read the gospel and I speak to you… In their day when he would sit that’s when their homily would start… So for the good Lord to go to purposely sit and now say this scripture reading is taking place under your hearing… He made a very powerful statement… He is speaking as the first reader and He is speaking as a high priest and He is speaking as if He was in the temple… 
D. That’s the effort that got put into this… So my brothers and sisters and Christ … Think all the apostles including Paul… Who better to put forth effort Paul’s name is effort… Everything that Paul does his effort… I’ll tell you what you and I are going to swap with Paul today… So today you and I are Paul… Brothers and sisters in Christ… We’re going to go on the road to Damascus… We are the lead pharisee we have more money than we know what to do with… We’ve got horses we got chariots we got this we got that… I’ve got money fame and prestige… And we are blinded for three days we hear the voice of God are you and I walking away from everything immediately… Paul did… That’s a measure of his effort… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Four of the five boats that man got on sank… Now I’m not saying it’s because of him but I got to say come on… My brothers and sisters in Christ next time you go on a cruise God forbid it sinks… You going on another one… Paul does… To whatever end is necessary… Brothers and sisters in Christ he goes to the island… Arguably it could be the island of Crete… He’s bit by a viper… How many times are you and I going to continue to go hunting or whatever and we get bit by a snake… Brothers and sisters in Christ before we call it good… That is the measure Paul… Paul’s saying I am all in… You can take my money you can take my fame and fortune… They throw him in jail they scourge him… How many more cities will you and I go to… If we go through and miss a stop sign they throw us in jail for three days that’s what happens to him… He spoke at a synagogue didn’t care what they had to say to him asked him if he was a citizen or not… And when they finally figured out he is… Oh man that’s on us… Three days later it’s on you… Brothers and sisters in Christ that is the measure of the resolve that I’m talking about that’s the effort that people put forth… Those apostles out there… Do you realize they know that once Christ was crucified… It’s only a matter of time before they get to them… You don’t think Peter realizes the clocks ticking… When he becomes Vicar of Christ… You don’t think James and John and Nathaniel and Bartholomew and Judas and Thomas… Simon… You don’t think those guys realize the clocks ticking… But look at the effort they put in … Brothers and sisters in Christ… Luke is a physician he’s not even an apostle he’s a follower of Paul… He will eventually be either hung or beheaded… According to Jewish law… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Mark is a gospel writer… They drug him in the streets with horses until he died… Can you imagine your Matthias… Judas is going to leave and you’re taking Judas’s spot … Isn’t it amazing that he gets beheaded… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Everybody blames Thomas because he misses the meeting… And at the end of the day he is speared to death for what he believes… You know what’s amazing… Nobody knows James the lesser they just know James the greater John’s brother… But when they took James a lesser up a pinnacle 100 feet up in the air… Which would’ve been like almost like the top of our church… And when I asked him to deny our Savior and then he wouldn’t they pushed him off and when that didn’t kill him they beat him with a club… That’s why is holding a club… His efforts were up to that end… that’s the measure of his resolve…
E. Well here you and I sit 2000 years later… What is the measure of your resolve… What is the measure of my resolve… To put forth a better effort… Remember… Please never forget this you are never neutral to Him… You are either walking towards Him or walking away from Him… And an email a text message a conversation a thought or a look… What is your best effort… Brothers and sisters in Christ… When you go to work man you should put forth your best effort… In everything that you do… It is not the decimal point… And never has been… You’re going to sign yourself a decimal point saying it’s above my pay grade… Do you not do what you do because you are a child of God and you’ve been given the gift… How else will people know that you’re a disciple of Christ… It has to be by your efforts… Brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s not enough just to say I can spell His name… It’s not enough to say I checked the block and you came on Sunday… People need to see that you are followers of Christ… How will they know He exist if you and I don’t do this… Brothers and sisters in Christ you need to put your best efforts in everything that you do… Helping your families members praying for the person that doesn’t care for you… How easy is it for you and I to pray for people that love us but will you pray for the person by the mere mention of your name causes the hair on the back of your neck to stand up… Will you not put forth the effort in the morning to get up and say a prayer when everyone else is tired and you’re exhausted… Will you put the effort into the prayer… How many times have you and I prayed a rosary were three decades into it and where are you we don’t even remember what mystery you’re on… MAN WILL YOU EVER PRAY WITH THE INTENSITY AND THE POWER THAT YOU WILL SHAKE AND ROCK HEAVEN TO ITS VERY CORE… BECAUSE WHAT YOU NEED IS AN ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYER AND I WILL NOT LEAVE UNTIL I GET IT… WILL YOU PRAY WITH THAT PASSION THAT THE GOOD LORD WILL LOOK DOWN AND SAY MY LORD LOOK A CHILD OF MINE HAS CALLED… Brothers and sisters in Christ we go hunting and fishing and prepare for a whole week… We will be in the duck blind and discuss everything that we needed for that one minute… We go on vacation we pack a week in advance but when it comes time to prayer… The effort that we put forth is something less than… YOU’VE GOT CANCER YOU FIGHTING A BATTLE ON THE FRONT AT WORK YOU GOT A CONCERN ABOUT A FAMILY MEMBER OR A RELATIONSHIP THINGS ARE GOING SOUTH WILL YOU PRAY WITH SUCH AN INTENSITY EVEN IF IT’S JUST ONE PRAYER THAT YOU WILL PRAY SO HARD AND WITH SUCH INTENSITY THAT ALL OF HEAVEN WILL SHAKE BECAUSE YOU CALLED UPON HER… AND WHAT I WANT TO KNOW IS WHEN THEY GRANT YOU THAT GIFT… WHEN THE GOOD LORD SAYS SO BE IT… WILL YOU GO BACK AND PRAY WITH THAT SAME INTENSITY TO SAY THANK YOU… OR WILL YOU JUST GIVE THEM MAN THANK GOD FOR THAT… Brothers and sisters in Christ… What is the measure of your resolve… DO YOU KNOW THE 10 COMMANDMENTS… MY LORD MY GOD THERE ARE 10… IT’S THE 10 THINGS THAT CAN KEEP US FROM SEEING THE ETERNAL GOD FOR ALL ETERNITY… DO YOU KNOW THE 10… THAT KEEP YOU FROM SEEING HIM HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW THE 10… THERE’S ONLY 10 OF THEM WHAT IS THE MEASURE OF YOUR RESOLVE TO KNOW THE THINGS THAT… YOU WANT PEACE IN YOUR LIFE STUDY THE 10 COMMANDMENTS JUST LEARN THEM… IT’LL KEEP YOU RIGHT IN MIDDLE THE ROAD… MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST WILL YOU GO TO ONE MORE CONFESSION… GO ONCE A MONTH… 12 TIMES A YEAR… WILL YOU GO TO ADORATION… FIVE MINUTES… FIVE MINUTES… GIVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT… BUT GIVE IT HARD AND GIVE IT WITH EARNEST AND GIVE IT WITH PASSION… LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU CARE… LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU LOVE HIM… LET HIM KNOW THAT IT’S THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU… 
F. My brothers and sisters in Christ… I leave you with this… Lincoln was about to have a council meeting a cabinet meeting… He walks in and someone arbitrarily makes a comment… You know Mr. Lincoln you know the age old saying… Everything comes to those who wait… Everything comes to those who wait… And in only Abraham Lincoln’s way in his esk and his manner… HE SAID THE ONLY THING THAT COMES TO THOSE WHO WAIT ARE THOSE THINGS LEFT BY THOSE WHO HUSTLE ... Put out the effort… 
G. Amen…
 

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