2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 4:21-30; 2-3-2019 (As Built; Amite #339)
 
A. Acceptance… Acceptance… Excepting the cross… carrying it… not complaining about it… being accepting… 
B. It’s the 1960s his name is Brian… Brian lives in Long Island New York… He is one of three children… His mom is the quintessential mom… His dad he works for the War Department… He works in the area of communication… Transfers… Brian‘s family… and Brian in particular they’re Catholic… They’re Catholic to this day… Brian I’ll tell you he’s a staunch Catholic… He’ll tell you in high school he did two things exceptionally well… He played left tackle and he was in the drama club… As a matter fact he’ll tell you it was an all boys high school… He loved playing left tackle… A matter fact he loved being in the drama… As a matter of fact he’ll tell you later in life when they asked him what was it like playing MacBeth in front of all men in front of an all boys school… He said it wasn’t it’s hard as you think… If I had played Lady MacBeth that’d be a different story… He said man I got a scholarship to Columbia College… My dad is ecstatic he thinks I’m going to be an attorney… I just get to be a left tackle for another four years… He said I loved it man I have a little bits and pieces and parts here… But man I got out looking for work couldn’t find anything… He decides I’m gonna be a Marine… So Brian goes into the Marines he goes and does his tour comes back dead broke… He said man I worked a taxi stand… I worked at a newspaper stand I worked tables I attended bar I made deliveries… He said I am destitute… Finally a friend of mine knows of the bit part in a Broadway play called SPLIT IMAGE… He said I do this thing for a little bit he said it was’nt too bad… And then he said he had another one called END OF THE DAY… He said you know it was a few dollars that kept me moving… And then there was this popular movie came out… and I just need to think for a second… Go back in the day there was a movie with Bo Derek called TEN …  Ok look were in the Church don’t tell me only six people saw that movie… But OK… They needed a bartender Brian’s there guy… And matter fact the producer after the movie said man Brian you were you were excellent… I can’t believe it you were moving all the time… You didn’t get static… Man you said the words you needed to… Man Brian where did you learn that… He said that’s what I do I tend bar… That’s my job… He said man we’re going to get you a bit part in the TV series DALLAS… then he gets a bit part in the movie KOJAK… And he gets another one in WEST WING… Then he gets another in the show BLACK LIST… well man next thing you know he’s popular is growing he gets in a movie called FX… And then SEMI TOUGH… And then another one called FOUL PLAY… OK I didn’t memorize a boat load of these my brothers and sisters in Christ… Let me tell you what happens he becomes an alcoholic… Becomes a power drinker he starts losing family friends and everything… And if his buddy doesn’t step up and say look you better learn to except this cross and you better learn to carry it. Because if you don’t you going to destroy your life… Everything you’ve worked for… To this day he stayed sober… But if his friend doesn’t tell him to except the cross to carry it… and carry it well… Man who never gets the chance for example he’s in  the movie COCOON… he was in the movie PRESUMED INNOCENT with Harrison Ford which was really excellent… He always plays the bad guys he’s in FX2… He was in another one called SILVERADO OK look… I’ve already died OK I get that… it’s a miserable death up here when y’all don’t catch on… Here’s the issue just think for a minute there’s a small town in Minnesota called Hope Minnesota… he’s the sheriff in that town… They got this guy named Rambo that won’t leave the town… Brian is the sheriff brothers and sisters in Christ friends this was a prize… Brian Dennehy… Just look it up when you get home… Is that we were at… Just take it from me it all ties together to the gospel… 
C. The gospel has to do with accepting Christ as who He is… Have you noticed that all of a sudden they want Him to speak at their synagogue… They’re begging Him to come and speak until one person makes the cat call…  well man aren’t you the son of Joseph the carpenter… So now they won’t except Him surely as the Messiah… You can skip being a prophet… they’re so upset they’re running Him out of town… You’re a first century Jew… let’s make sure you and I understand the setting… You and I live in the time of Christ… We’re at the same synagogue… A synagogue is roughly this size in this town it’ll hold a couple of hundred people at best… There is no priest there’s only a lead rabbi… The temple in Jerusalem has where the priest are located… So there’s no sacrifices in the synagogue… You’ve got to go all the way to Jerusalem… Did you notice… Christ is the second reader He’s not even the lead rabbi… there would be 2 readings for you and I… the first reading would come from the first five books of Moses… The Torah… And then the next reading would come from the prophet… So the good Lord isn’t even the lead speaker… He’s reading from Isaiah and says basically that I am in the Messiah as proclaimed by Isaiah and this is taking a place in your hearing… well they become incensed… Because who are You to make such a proclamation … And here’s the irony were all Jews so He quotes Elijah… He says Elijah for 3 1/2 years famine and pestilence a leprosy in all these problems and I sent him to one person… As a matter fact I was in Capernaum doing the same thing… And yet you believe in Elijah why won’t you believe in Me… And then they still don’t get it so He uses the next prophet Elisha… Namaan is a leper… Do you know the only reason why people liked Namaan he’s the best general in the world at the time… But he’s a leper… every king wants Namaam and so when he goes to Elisha and says I want to be cured of leprosy he says go wash in the river Jordan… Have you ever seen the river Jordan… Man let me tell you there are 10 other rivers and that’s his argument… Why that one… I’ll just go to the other ones… He said seven times in the Jordan and you’ll be cured… It finally takes Namaam to go to all the rivers and finally to walk in seven times to be cured… and Christ is saying you believed in Elijah he says you believed in Elisha why is it that you don’t believe in Me and not accepting of Me… You know how bad… they actually want to pull Him up to the hill… and they’re doing that… and when they get to the hill they want to throw Him over headfirst… Here’s a miracle… that He walks between them and they know nothing of it… My hour has not yet come… My brother and sisters in Christ… you’re about to get in a free-for-all… You want to thumpt somebody’s skull… you can’t remember who you’re supposed be going after and that’s exactly the point… Because they weren’t accepting of Him He leaves and the miracle that they got is that you never saw Him leave… 
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ… Go back in scripture think of all the people that carry the cross that was never meant for them… They were accepting of it… they didn’t complain about it they didn’t argue about it… they didn’t say no I’m not gonna do it… Who better than Simon of Cyrene… Think about it… He’s in the forum with his two children… his two boys… He comes in to the town because why because it’s the feast… it’s the feast of Tabernacle’s… man you have to come… and in the army if you’re a Roman you can conscript somebody into the army simply by grabbing and pulling him in… One day two weeks almost up to a month… They can conscript you…  that’s what they do to Simon… you know what’s amazing… As reluctant as he might have be… And initially he was… There’s no doubt about it the movie THE PASSION painted him correctly… Because at the end he doesn’t want to leave if you notice when he’s up on the mountain of Golgotha why… Why… Because he’s looking at the good Lord saying the minute that I leave is a minute they’re going to crucify You… And then the good Lord looks at him to tell him you carried a cross that was not meant for you… Man you have done what I asked… You know what time it is amazing we don’t even know his last name… We just know that he was somewhere in North Africa and Cyrene… Here’s the guy that carries His cross conscripted into the army don’t know if he’s getting crucified where his children may be and here he is carrying the cross… to this day he’s in the Book of Life… You know what’s amazing… Veronica whose name means “true icon”… That’s the woman that wipes the face of Christ… When I even sure if that’s her name… She’s so accepting of the beating… which I’m sure she took… You are a woman in Roman times… Brothers and sisters in Christ you have no say…You just don’t… And here she’s saying I’m gonna block the Crucifixion… wipe His face… beat me… do what you will… But I’m gonna do this… You know what’s amazing… 2000 years later if you ever watch Easter Sunday Mass at the Vatican… Sometimes on the alter they will place that veil… Brothers and sisters in Christ… The man that stabbed our Savior… Longanius… Who’s name mean “spear tip”… Do you know what’s amazing… He was accepting of the cross when he said truly this Man was the Son of God… And then all of a sudden a year later he’s martyred for what he believes… he’s carrying the cross that was meant for him… Imagine… What if Pilate actually stood up and said… wash my hands for what… Because you don’t like Him… Man that’s go nothing to do with me… that’s your problem… Moreover we’re not crucifying Him… Now take that… what if he would’ve said that… What if he would’ve listen to his wife and said man that mans a holy man and do  nothing to Him… My brothers and sisters he didn’t want to accept the pushback… What would come from Cesar and tell him that you must do what need and this must happen… what if he would’ve done that… What if Mary Magdalene woke up Easter Sunday and said man no way I am not going to except being harassed by soldiers I’m just not gonna do it I’m not going to the tomb I’m not… I’m not going there I can’t move the rock… nobody’s there He’s dead anyway… But yet she excepts whatever may come…  by herself… In front of them soldiers… To be near a “dead Savior then alive people” man she’s the first to see the Risen Christ… That brothers and sisters in Christ is accepting your cross… 
E. Now here you and I sit 2000 years later… how accepting are you and I of our own crosses… Brothers and sisters in Christ… when you go to work… And man they are hitting you from every possible angle… They’re asking you to do things that man you’re not being paid for… They’re asking you to do things that you job description no way entail… My brothers and sisters in Christ… don’t you see… never put your name tied to a decimal point… What is Judas… I say 30 pieces of silver… everybody says oh man that’s Judas… Never put your name to a decimal point… You do your job because you been given a gift… You do it and you do it well… Weather it’s in your job description or not… How else will people know that Christ exist if you don’t show them what Christ would do… You and I are in His hands and His feet and His eyes and His ears… and moreover we are also His mouth… My brothers and sisters in Christ are you going to be accepting that when they call home… and your with your family and work only work seems to know your cell number… We have so many people that we employ but mine is the only one that happens to ring… Simon answer the phone… Because that’s what you do… Because you’ve been given the gift to be able to handle it… Why is it when our families have someone sick… we can have brothers and sisters and in-laws and outlaws… And man there’s only one phone that rings… Nobody comes to help nobody helps to go clean up… Nobody wants to babysit… Simon Carry Your Cross… Why… Because that’s how you and I gain grace… Don’t you see… Everything that comes to you and I comes from our Savior… We will never grow… We will never expand and become better Christians and better  Catholics… If the good Lord doesn’t put us through trials… You and I by our nature we will become neutral… If He doesn’t give us a cross to carry… And nothing comes to you without His blessing… I’m asking you to carry your cross… I don’t want you to complain about it I don’t want you to text message about it or email… Why because you and I would lose the grace that came with the gift… It is a gift… Brothers sisters in Christ when your arthritis hurts to a point that the mere change in weather causes things just to contract and to inflame… When you get another call yet from work… When you get a call from the family or friend… Or someone that won’t leave you alone or the problem is almost the same problem, over and over and over again… And yet you take the phone call…  don’t complain about it… What I’m telling you is the good Lord is giving you grace… So you will grow exponentially… You will be even more stronger and more vibrant… You’re a Simon for someone else because you accepted your cross… And guess what someday somebody will be a Simon for you… And help carry your cross… Never forget this… He will never give you a cross greater than you can carry… Provided that you go to Him… And you pray to Him… Brothers and sisters in Christ… I need you to carry your cross… I need you to carry it well… You’re upset… Your made… Great… You want to have a pity party great… You want to go out and kick your neighbor’s dog knock yourself out… But when you through… You get up you clean yourself off and you get back in the game… Because we follow Jesus Christ… In the words of Saint Paul… We follow Jesus Christ crucified… Pick up your cross and follow me… Brothers and sisters in Christ… that’s how you and I will grow we will grow more resilient more powerful more Christlike… And people will feed off with it… I’m telling you if you’re going to complain peel it and eat it like a grape and allow the good Lord to bless you for the cross that you carry… It’ll be greater than you can ever imagine… 
F. And I will leave you with the words of two people… Abraham Lincoln once said You’re As Happy As You Want To Be… There’s one more caveat to that Michael Fox said it too… You’re As Happy As You Are Accepting To Be… 
G. Amen…
 

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