2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 5:1-11; 2-10-2019 (As Built; Amite #340)
A. One more step… Just take… One more step… 
B. My brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s the 1950s… His name is Dr. Roselius… He is… his desire… His dream he wants to be the coffee mogul of Europe… He knows that if he can get it there he can get this going… man it would take Europe by storm… He contacts a guy in South America they do this by wire… I would like to purchase as much coffee as you can… If you will he wires back… we can put it below deck I can put some on top of the deck… He said bring all that you can… He wires back to him we can do this but I got to tell you… Man that’s a long boat ride across the ocean… There’s always going to be storms… Man as a result of it… man was not the crewman right… Not only was it a storm it was something like what you see on the DEADLIEST CATCH… It didn’t last for a day it was almost several days… The storm… I mean the waves… man they were huge and the wind and the gust… Man their lucky truly they were lucky they made it… They finally get to Europe… Dr. Roselius is waiting on the dock… The crew chief gets off and says Dr. Roselius I got good news and I have a not so good news… The good news is all the coffee below deck we saved… Everything above deck well we have it but it’s been thoroughly rinsed with salt water… It’s done… It’s over… So what I’m gonna do is offload this the bottom get that to you and then I’ll dispose of whatever… And he said oh but no no wait a minute I can’t make it off of just what you have on the bottom… He said Dr. Roselius you don’t understand This is nothing but salt water that coffee’s been run through… He said just leave it with me let me take it one more step… Let me give it to this guy I know that does a lot of research let me just see what we can do… Man… brothers and sisters in Christ that one extra step albeit just a thought boy does it pay dividends… He comes up with the first caffeine free coffee… As a matter of fact the name of the coffee is named after caffeine free… OK look here the name of the coffee is named… it’s French for caffeine free… My brothers and sisters in Christ I know I’m gonna die miserable death I can already see it coming… it’s a crash of unmedicated proportion‘s… Hang in there with me… As a matter fact brothers and sisters of Christ it becomes the first decaffeinated coffee… Matter fact every time there was an I LOVE LUCY SHOW or the FAMILY GUY or even FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH… As a matter fact they even came up with a jingle no I’m not gonna sing it… I’m going to spare you that… IT SAYS I LOVE MY COFFEE… I LOVE MY TEA… I LOVE MY_______… BECAUSE IT LOVES ME… OK brothers and sisters in Christ… It begins with an S… Sanka brothers and sisters in Christ… Black Bart used to drink Sanka coffee my brothers and sisters in Christ I’m convinced of it to this day…  you don’t know who he is… he died a miserable death about a year ago here… 
C. My brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s that extra step that was taken… That that is the whole point of the gospel… That’s it… Here is Peter… He has been out all night long… The good Lord is saying we’re going to go back out one more time… No just imagine Peter’s disposition… The good Lord says we’re going to go back out… You know what that means… Let’s face it they’re going to go out about 6 miles because that’s about the death of the Sea of Galilee… The lake of Gennesaret… It’s going to be every bit of 45 minutes to an hour to get there… Your lower your nets… You’re not gonna catch anything… You’re gonna be out there another hour or two… And then you got an hour to come back… And then what does Peter say… But Lord if You command me… Can you imagine Peter… You want the nets out… Here… Here… Nets are out Lord let them just jump in the nets… Now I remember… You need to stop for second… 2000 years later… As a Catholic and as a Christian… Make sure you understand all the subtleties that just took place in that conversation… the good Lord never says never does anything by happenstance… When He looks a certain way He means to go that way… If He says something He means what He says… And says what He means… Everything the good Lord does is directional… Towards Him or towards heaven… That’s His whole point… Who’s boat does He get in… Simon’s… Brothers and sisters in Christ… When they go off shore and He turns to speak… He sits down… Only a rabbi does that… If you and I were there as first century Jews… we’re saying man… He’s preaching like a rabbi… Every time He gets into a boat… 90% of the time… It’s Peter’s boat… This is why we refer to the church as Peter’s bark, as referred to as a ship… this is why our roof is built like an inverted hull of a ship… That’s how the Churches were built… because He’s always preaching from Peter’s boat… From the Church… Now they go all the way out… He doesn’t hold a conversation with James He doesn’t speak to John He doesn’t speak to Andrew… He only speaks to Peter… Peter says You command it and I will do it… We will do it… The Church will do it… This is why Peter is always listed first… Judas is always listed last… This is why Peter does all the miracles… This is why Peter baptizes… This is why Peter is always the first to speak… Because he’s the only one that has his name changed… My brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s so powerful that when he gets out there and he catches all these fish… Then… if it’s not enough Peter takes one more step… He leaves everything… He’s married… And according to tradition he has two children… He doesn’t leave them as you and I would think… he just walks away… But their lifestyle of being fishermen now is total different… He is being a fisher of men… Which means their life is going to change too… Now my brothers and sisters in Christ… I want you to go back… Remember now all that has happened… Now go back through scripture think of Peter… Think of what happens… The first time he meets the good Lord… It’s in this boat… He meets the good Lord he drops to the bottom and he says depart from me Lord… I should’ve never doubted You I am a sinful man… On behalf of the whole Church… On behalf of all the apostles… He’s the only one that drops to the bottom… The next time he’s in a boat same scene… Lake of Gennesaret… On the Sea Galilee… Brothers and sisters in Christ the storm comes up… Man he’s on the sea… He’s a fisherman… the guy’s a carpenter… I mean for the love of… God… I’m not going to wake Him I can handle it… He get so intimidated by the sea… He even yells to Christ to save him and everybody else… Once again speak Peter speaks on their behalf… The next time Peter’si n a boat… Man Lord if that is You tell me to come… He thinks he sees a ghost… The good Lord says come Peter… Peter takes his first step to walk on water… You know what’s amazing brother sisters in Christ… There’s 12 guys in that boat now 11… Not one of them follows him… Not one of them helps him when he starts to go down… You know what’s amazing… The next time they’re in a boat brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s at the very end… When he sees the good Lord… And he swims 100 yards to get to Him to sit next to Him by a charcoal fire… You know what’s amazing brothers and sisters in Christ… 30 years later he’s about to be crucified upside down… I can bet you that if they asked him to walk on water now that he’d walk all the way across the Sea of Galilee… Imagine what has happened in just three years… He takes one small step to let the good Lord in his boat… He tries to walk on water… He tries to calm a storm… He swims 100 yards to be next to a charcoal fire and then he’s crucified… I bet you now that he can make that first step all because he took one initially… My brothers and sisters in Christ think about it… What about Paul… What if Paul says man I’ve been blinded for three days… I was Saul now I can’t see… man I’m not taking any more steps… This is gonna be an unmitigated disaster… But yet because he does… And did you hear what he says today Saint Paul to the Corinthians… I have toiled more than all of them together why… Because Paul is constantly going out… Paul is constantly in a ship… Paul is in a ship four of the five ships he gets on that thing sinks… Man if you and I are on the ship and Paul gets on we’re walking off I promise you… That things going down… but he takes his extra steps… What about Simon… You know that’s the apostle no one knows much about… He’s the one that’s holding the saw out there… He was sawed in half… You know what’s amazing about him… According to our teachings and traditions… He was a leper… He would go at night from village to village searching for the good Lord… Taking that extra step hoping against hope… Look there’s no sign that says Messiah film at 11 come and see… He’s going from village to village at night so he doesn’t get stoned… So that he can get a glimpse of Him and maybe maybe He’ll cure me… Because he does that and he stays out all night… And goes to different nights and villages he’s cured… He’s actually one of the very first apostles to follow Christ… my brothers and sisters in Christ therein lies the point… 
D. You got to be able to take that extra step and let me tell you something… It’s not just 2000 years ago Peter taking the step… It’s not Simon taking the step… Or Paul taking to step… It still happens today… If you would have come to hear the man speak the other night… Andreas… Who was the bodyguard for John Paul… He was a Swiss guard… He says never in his life has someone touched him like that… He said he was Catholic in name only… By the time he left being his bodyguard… He said I can’t even begin to tell you what that man meant it to me… He says he’s in an airport… he’s now left the Swiss Guard… He says he’s the CEO of almost $1 billion a year industry… And there’s a sign a thing that came across like a ticker tape… That said John Paul has passed… He said he literally breaks down in the airport… He calls his office and cancels all his trips… His board meetings… meetings with the chairman of the board… going to meet the big clients… He says he begged… borrowed and stealed just to get back to Rome… He said he worked so hard getting back to Rome… He said look man just give me on the flight… I’ll pass out the food… I’ll sit with the luggage… Man I’ll do whatever you need me to do… Just give me on a flight… They flew him everywhere… And by the time they get him to Rome… This is within 24 hours of his passing… He says it is pouring down raining… I have no luggage I’m drenched and wet he says it’s like ants on Ant Hill at the Vatican… He finally finds the Swiss guard everybody recognizes Andreas… First of all you can’t miss him he’s about 6 foot nine… Every bit about 280 - 300 pounds… He’s a big man and he is going to meet the Swiss Guards… Everybody knows him… Because he was the man… He gets there he visits with them and he says his friend comes up and says something… I wanna show you something… He says look man I’m wet I’ve lost everything… He said I just got to get some place to stay… He said no… just take a few steps with me… He follows him… Everybody knows Andreas… He finally gets up to the Papal apartment… He opens the door and there is John Paul lying in state… for him to view John Paul all by himself… He said I knew how much this would mean to you because how much he meant to you and how much you meant to him… Everybody knew it… So I’ll leave you alone… Millions of people will be coming… Heads of state… dignitaries and presidents… Czars from all over the world… And I got to sit with John Paul… Because I took that extra step as inconvenient as it may have been to see him… You know what’s amazing brother sisters in Christ… It happens again in the next pontiff… Pope Benedict… I don’t know if you know this… He has a brother who’s a monsignor… When Benedict becomes Pope… His brother gets free room and board… At the Vatican… As a result of such everybody knows him… Benedict is a quasi-introvert… His brother is just the opposite… As a result of such… They just let Benedict brother roam… pray the Mass… do what he wants to do… The Swiss Guard one night decide to have beer and hotdogs… Monsignor walks in and he said man the Swiss Guards are caught flat-footed… You know… He said would you mind can I have can I have a beer and a hotdog with y’all… They said sure Monsignor… Like the head of the Swiss Guard says what am I going to say… No… You get out… He says come on in and have a beer… He says man I can’t thank you enough… He says now this is against protocol… They eat by themselves they are secluded… They have one job and one job only… Their job is to protect the holy father… They’re not to be entertaining guests they’re not to be visiting… As he’s walking out he says look I have a friend that doesn’t live far from here… Would you mind if I just pick them up on the way and bring him with me… And head lead guard the captain says oh man this just gets better… Yeah Monsignor whatever you want to do we’ll be here tomorrow and we’ll have beer and hotdogs… Tomorrow comes… They’re all cooked they’re all sitting down to eat… Here he walks in… Here comes Monsignor and who walks in behind him his buddy… Pope Benedict… He said all because they took that one extra step… He said Monsignor your buddy… He said man he is my buddy that’s my brother… He said you know what it’s like eating a hotdog and a beer with the Pope… Very carefully is how you do it… 
E. My brother and sisters in Christ… Therein lies the point… Here  you and I sit 2000 years later… Man will you take that extra step… remember… Remember… you and I are never neutral… in everything that you and I do… When we write an e mail… Will it bring us closer to Christ or make us walk away… Did you respond Christ like or against Him… Did you write an email or a text message that would bring you endearing to Christ… Brothers and sisters in Christ how you drive your car how you meet people how you respond… Everything is this way… Will you take the extra step in the middle of the morning excuse early in the morning when you’re getting ready an your rushed for work will you take that extra step to say a quick prayer… My brothers sisters in Christ when you get home at night… When you’re exhausted and before your head hits the pillow… Will you make sure that you say that one extra prayer… So that the last words from your mouth to His ears are thank you for the day… For your family for a chance to worship in a beautiful place… Still the greatest country in the world… Brothers sisters in Christ… Will you do that extra step at work… Regardless of your job description… You do it because you are a Catholic man or woman and that’s what you do… Even though it’s not on your pay scale… Because that’s what you do… So that people will come to know Christ… Remember people come to know Christ because we are His eyes and His ears and His mouth… His legs His hands… We are supposed to be disciples of Christ… Matter-of-fact when we walk away from a conversation people out to yell out now there… that’s a disciple of Jesus Christ… My brothers and sisters in Christ… Will you take that extra step… to reach out to somebody where it never seems to work out… Will you take that extra step and offer that olive branch because that’s what we do is Catholic Christians… Will you take that extra step to go see that person that you just haven’t seen in forever and you’ve been putting it off… Will you take that extra step… Will you take that extra step to clean your room… To make sure that you watch over that you pick up the meal… Will you take that extra step to do that thing that you’ve been promising to do for the last month that haven’t been done… Will you take that extra step… My brothers and sisters in Christ… this is what I’m asking you to do… YOU CAN’T REMAIN NEUTRAL… REMEMBER THERE IS NO FENCE BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL… AND IF THERE IS ONE THE DEVIL WOULD OWN IT… YOU CAN’T REMAIN NEUTRAL… REMEMBER WHAT THE GOOD LORD SAYS… IF YOU ARE LUKEWARM… HIS WORDS NOT MINE… I’LL SPIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH… SO ASKED YOURSELF TAKE THE EXTRA STEP… GO THE EXTRA MILE… 
F. If for no other reason… And I’ll leave you with this… because there’s absolutely no traffic in the extra mile… Take that extra step…
G. Amen…
 

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