2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 4:1-13; 3-10-2019 (As Built; Amite #344)

A. Barking dog… And incessant barking dog… Nonstop in your ear all day every day and twice on Sunday…
B. The year is about 1970… His name is Philip… Philip is a Pennsylvania boy… He’s a Philadelphia boy… Born and bred he loves it… Philip has a sister and he’s been blessed… Great great parents… He’s got one that works of all places NBC… His dad is a stoke broker… In grammar school Philip will tell you not good… I’m gonna tell you he’s a handsome man he’s got a lot going for him but in grammar school he hadn’t gotten there yet he had matured quite yet his body was a little behind more over his hair was a little long… They thought he was a girl that’s the short version… As a result of it he’ll tell you man grammar school for Philip was just not good… He gets to high school basically shaves himself bald… starts playing basketball… And the boy can play… He did great for himself… Pretty soon things started to change… Big man on campus… Long story short man all of a sudden it’s time for him to move on… He goes to a play in high school his last year called THE ELEPHANT MAN… And if you’ve ever seen it it’s a true story about a guy by the name of Joseph Merrick… It’s a great story… He’s so caught up in it… He tells his dad who went with him to the movies… That is what I’m gonna do… I’m gonna be an actor… He said son let me help you with that… Stop listening to the barking dog… You’re going to college and then you can be the biggest movie star you want right after you graduate… Well he’s got to go somewhere of all places Georgetown… He goes… he gets his degree in English… Philip is fluent in French he was even in the rowing team while he was there… So when it comes time for him to get out… He says man Los Angeles here I come… He goes there and gets a bit part in a play I think it’s called HOT AND WET SUMMER… From that he gets a little recognition he gets on SEX AND THE CITY… And from that he gets another jump into WEDDING CRASHERS… Well pretty soon Philip believes the world is oyster… That he’s a bees knees… And that dog starts barking in his ear… And man that one drink it’s not gonna bother you just take one drink… And you can have no more than two… You’re a big boy… Next thing you know not only was it alcohol but drugs came… Man he wakes up in the emergency room one day… Not only is he unconscious and have no concept of what happened his head is split open he’s been beaten to an inch of his life… His dad comes back gets him brings him back and he says when is it going to stop… That you’re going to stop listening to that dog that’s in your ear that’s telling you to do the things that you and I both know are patently wrong… To this day he’s remained sober… Thanks really in part to his dad… Then things do you open up for Philip a little more than what we thought… He gets in a movie called VALENTINE’S DAY… And then from VALENTINE’S DAY he jumps into another one called GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY… And then from that one my brothers and sisters in Christ he’s in the movie HANGOVER ONE and HANGOVER TWO… Can I ask you why do so many people nod their heads at HANGOVER ONE and HANGOVER TWO maybe I don’t need to know that issue… Man and my brothers and sisters in Christ he was just in a movie with Lady Gaga called A STAR IS BORN… As a matter of fact brothers sisters in Christ he was the sniper in AMERICAN SNIPER… OK brothers and sisters in Christ it’s Bradley Cooper… OK I need to get you there… Never in my life did I ever think that Bradley Cooper would have less than 10% of the people that know him… can I just tell you that… I might as well pitch Doc Holiday my brothers and sisters in Christ… My brothers and sisters in Christ… It’s all because he’s not listening to the barking dog…
C. That’s the gospel… That’s the whole point… My friends in Christ… Don’t you see the devil now has Him… The good Lord has been in the desert… 40 days… Including Sundays… Just so you know… My brothers and sisters in Christ He has giving up everything including subsidence… So for those that say I’m just going to pray more please make sure you read this gospel yet again… Think about it for a Jew 40 is a significant number… Just like three days means complete to a Jew or the perfect number… Seven is the most complete number to a Jew… Seven days of Creation seven years to build the Temple… 40 means a day of purification… 40 years in the desert… 40 days for Him… It rained on Noah and it rained on Sundays for Noah for 40 days… My brothers and sisters in Christ… All of a sudden now he’s going after the good Lord just like he’s going after… Think for a minute… just like he went after Adam… Go back to the garden of Eden… He goes after Adam and Eve exact same way that he goes after Christ… First thing he does he shows them the tree they coveted it… What does he show the good Lord he shows Him the world and he says I’m giving you all of this… They see it with their eyes and they want it… The stones turned a bread… They see the tree lust of the flesh it will taste good it will make you wise as God… My brothers and sisters in Christ… The same way the devil went after the good Lord is the same way that he went after Adam and Eve… Is the same way he’s gonna go after you and I… He doesn’t have to change his stripes… Why because we still fall for the same sins over and over again… How many times do you and I go to confession and confess the same sins… And then we complain to me that somehow or another it’s my fault… Well Father the only reason why I don’t come is I keep doing the same sins over and over and over again….… Well Stop… I didn’t do it… why are you blaming me… Well that’s the reason why I don’t go… What do you want new ones… I mean come on what do you want me to do here… I’m just a conduit… My brothers and sisters in Christ… Go back and think in scripture… All the way back to Job… remember Job is not parabolic… It’s not a parable… He’s got a proper name… Remember the story the good Lord talks to His angels… What do you think about my boy Job… One angel stands up and says… I’ll tell you what I think about Your boy Job You let me touch him I’ll turn him… Where have you come… Roaming the earth and patrolling it… Look at where we sit now… He’s says I’ll tell you what you can do whatever you want to Job but don’t you touch him… He hasn’t even had breakfast he’s lost all his camels… By the time he sits down to eat he’s lost all his sheep and if that ain’t enough he’s lost all his cattle… Brothers and sisters in Christ he hadn’t even had breakfast yet and then the bad news comes as if that wasn’t bad enough… You lost all seven sons and three daughters… The only words out of that man’s mouth is naked came I into the world and naked will I return… Man brothers and sisters in Christ… You mean to tell me that devil wasn’t in his ear barking… Why don’t you curse God… Get angry with Him… Man He took everything from you… He took your animals He took your livestock He took your camels and sheep… Now He’s taken your children… And man all Joe says is naked I came into the world and naked will I return… You know what’s amazing… The devil couldn’t get to him by barking in his ear so what is he do he barks into the ear of his two associates… And what do they tell him… You need to complain to God… You need to get mad with Him you need to tell Him what you think… You know what’s amazing about the whole story… Is the very end… Isn’t it amazing that all of a sudden they decide that maybe God did bring him back to where he needs to be… And maybe God’s hand was in it for all the right reasons… Do you know what the two people do now… The two people that were barking in his ear because evil one was in their ear… They go to God and they begin to pray… Do you remember what God told them… Oh no… You don’t pray to ME… You better go get Job to pray on your behalf… INTERCESSORY PRAYER… All the way back then… My brother and sisters in Christ… They got caught up listening to the evil one because he was barking in their ear… Go into the garden of Eden… When he says man and woman… What is a good Lord tell Adam and Eve before He leaves… When He says I want you to till the ground and keep it… The real world is Shamir… I need you to till the ground and guard it… Why… Because he is coming… And this time as a serpent as a dragon… Now fast forward to the Garden of Gethsemane… He does it yet again the evil one… He gets into their ear… And what is the good Lord tell His apostles stay awake… Be on guard… Who’s coming… The evil one this time to the possession of Judas… My brothers and sisters in Christ… The good Lord is warning you and I that the devil is nothing more than a barking dog… That’s all he’s ever been… Don’t you see brothers and sisters in Christ…
D. Here you and I sit and think about your day… Think about brothers and sisters in Christ when you get up in the morning… And all the sudden you’re going to work and everything is calm and then out of nowhere someone cuts you off and someone doesn’t move fast enough someone drives by and says you’re number one in their book… Ah… You mean to tell me you didn’t speed up just enough to remind them that maybe there’s two places at number one… Maybe you gave them the look… And make sure you slow down to make sure that they know that they got the look… Brothers and sisters in Christ… don’t you see… The devil is going to be in your ear barking in it… That way by the time you get to work man you got so much love you can’t wait to share it… You’re gonna take a hostage… There may be a fight but it ain’t gonna be your blood on the floor… You gonna take as many as you can because you know how much love is waiting for you at work… It’s going to be that email it’s gonna be that client… The one that you never expected… Man you’re going to get an email or text message and when you read it you become so incensed and so mad… That you start hitting the key so fast the words aren’t even spelled right but when you hit send you hit it so hard you hope it knocks them out when they read it on the other end… My friends in Christ that’s what I’m talking about… You honestly believe that the devil is sits on one side and the good Lord sits on the other path and you and I are just gonna walk aimlessly through life as if nothing in the world is going to happen… And the evil one just sits there and watches…. well we almost got him… well get the next one… DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND HE HATES YOU… And he hates you because you’ve been made in the image of God… He’s hated you since you were in the womb… He hated you since your name is been named after Christ… My brothers and sisters in Christ… He’s going to be in your ear 24/7… He’s going to make sure that you come home mad and you spread the venom at work and you spread it at the dinner table… You want to hear the devil laugh… Get in an argument with your family… Get in an argument with your spouse… The devil hates you so much but he will break in laughter and scream to the hells… That you are now arguing among the family… You wanna hear him laugh argue among one another on something that has to do with nothing and it rarely ever does…
E. My brothers sisters in Christ there are seven deadly sins in the world which one is your nemesis… He knows you better than we know each other… Is it pride… We got to win every argument… I mean even if it’s the last word and it’s ugly one we’re going to win it because were keeping score… Oh there’s someone keeping score and it’s not who you and I want to keep it… Are you so angry that man you will spread the venom and you will destroy a beautiful day… you will if someone gives you half a look you go out of your way to tag them… Is the sin that we have food… Is it alcohol… Is it pornography… Is it drugs… the computer… Is it our cell phone we can’t even talk to people unless were looking at a phone… Is it lust… Is it money… Is it sloth or being lazy… Is it envy… Brothers and sisters in Christ… The evil one knows which one of these is our hot button what I’m asking you is… Why do you take counsel with the evil one… Remember… Only three people can put a thought in your head… He can God… You and I can put thoughts in it… And so can the evil one… He is nothing more than a barking dog on a leash… He’s gonna sit there and bark at you and bark at you and bark to you and force you to turn… And have an argument with the dog… My brothers and sisters in Christ… The only reason that dog’s bark at people is they don’t know who they are… That’s the point… He really doesn’t care about you… He wants you to get distracted and he wants you to get mad and he wants you to bring that venom to the table why… Because it will spread like wild fire… And then all of a sudden not only do you have to go to confession for it… Not only do we have to repent for it… But at some point we’ve got to apologize for it… And man the carnage has been done… People may forgive you but it’s gonna be a long time before they forget what you said… My brothers and sisters in Christ I’m begging you… When that thought enters your head ask yourself did it bring you peace… Did it bring you pleasure… Did it bring you calm and serenity… Or did it generate anxiety or angst… Or anger… Then you know where it came from… Ignore it…
F. I leave you the words of Winston Churchill… Great a great mind… He said if you ever want to make your destination… If you ever want to make your destination… Then you don’t have to stop and kick every barking dog… Be on guard… Guard those thoughts… Be careful of the barking dog…
G. Amen…

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