2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 9:28b-36; 3-17-2019 (As Built; Amite #345)
A. Closer… Closer… As in taking one more stop… It’s about proximity not close enough… Even closer… 
B. It’s a 1950s his name is Brendon… Brendon lives in Ireland… He is Irish true and true… He will tell you that he was the only child… He will tell you that his mom is a nurse his dad was a carpenter… And man life was tumultuous from the very get-go… As a matter of fact man his mom and dad separated so at the age of four he’s got to go from Ireland to England… He will tell you grammar school was just horrific… And then he thought grammar school was bad he said man Brendon will tell you high school was an unmitigated disaster… Irish guy in England man it just doesn’t bode well… so after he finishes school… He tells his dad and his mom as well… Man I’m going to be an actor… His dad looked at him and said that’s great… He said not only and your mom not actors we don’t have any inlaws or outlaws we have no relatives that are actors we know nobody in the business… Son that’s great… He said I’ll tell you what… first you’re going to go get a job and then after you work for a little while and then if you wanna be “an actor” so be it… So he decides to go get a job… And brothers and sisters in Christ he is a Busher… I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term Busher… When you read about New Orleans and you read about Bourbon Street like I used to… I’m well read brothers and sisters in Christ… Work with me on this one brothers and sisters in Christ… When you walk down or maybe somebody told you… There’s always one guy that’s on Bourbon Street that’s pretending to be the Statue of Liberty there’s always… Come on now… Ya’ll look at me like ya’ll never seen this… right there is one guy that’s always pretending to stand still for a extended period of time… one guys pretending to walk and not moving… Another guy is singing… That’s a Busher… He does it for three years… And when you figure out this guy this is uncanny that he would do this… And then if this wasn’t bad enough… He joins the circus… He is a sword swallower… Brendon is a sword swallower and as a result he does this for a couple years and finally he ends up in New York and gets a big part in the play called THE RED DEVIL… That opens up another called A LONGER DAY FRIDAY or A LONG GOOD DAY FRIDAY… But the play is a hit… And a result of it man he’s getting his way about him… He meets his wife who happens to be a one of the women in James Bond… As a result of it she opens the door for him so he goes to Los Angeles starts getting some jobs… He gets a job called THE SARAFIN FALLS the movie… and it’s actually an excellent movie… After he gets into that movie man another door kinda opens up for him and he is in the movie MAMMA MIA… OK trust me you don’t have to watch that one… It was painful to watch that one… I actually broke out in a rash… it was a musical… watching that whole movie… After that movie he is in MRS. DOUBTFIRE… Then he got a show called REMEMINGTON STEEL and he was on that… He was being JAMES BOND… in DIE ANOTHER DAY and GOLDENEYE… OK brothers and sisters in Christ it’s Pierce Brosnan… That’s who I’m looking for here… My brothers and sisters in Christ you know what’s amazing when they asked him why is it that you never get caught up in all the issues of Hollywood… Why don’t we see you in the tabloids on the front lines or the front lines of paper… He said man I have learned that the closer I stay to Jesus Christ and the closer I stay to the Catholic Church… The better I seem to do… 
C. That is the whole gospel… My brothers and sisters in Christ… Think about what hass happened Peter James and John are so tied to Christ… And want to stay physically close to Him that they are going to follow Him up a mountain… And even when they get up there of all people to meet… Moses and Elijah and when a cloud comes on Him and God the Father speaks saying this is My Son listen to Him… as frightened as they were they still don’t break rank and leave… Because they want to stay as close as they can to Christ … Now stop… You’re a 1st century Jew… Anytime someone goes up a hill as a 1st century Jew that’s significant… Think about it… David goes up Mount Sinai… this is all about Jerusalem… My brothers and sisters in Christ… Noah he ends up on Mount Ararat… Brother and sister in Christ… Moses goes up Mount Sinai… And you want me to tell you how uncanny… Moses goes up Mount Sinai guess what brothers and sisters in Christ he goes up on the seventh day… Christ goes up on this mountain on the seventh day… The transfiguration… Moses is followed by three men… Christ is followed by three men… My brothers and sisters in Christ you don’t think it’s amazing that Moses and Elijah are speaking… They were the only two Prophets in the Old Testament that actually spoke directly to God… You know what’s amazing… The good Lord‘s face was transfigured… His whole garment became dazzling white… In the book of Daniel it will tell you that anything that is white or becomes transfigured or transformed is angelic… It’s divine… When Moses came down the mountain his face was so transformed and transfigured they had veil him because people were scared… My brothers and sisters in Christ… its nothing short of amazing that He takes Peter James and John… The same people that show up in the Garden of the Gethsemane… Now look… Stop… Listen… All the apostles less Judas ended up in the Garden of Gethsemane… Only three stay closer to Christ to see what He was going through… And the only reason why Peter James and John could handle it is because they saw Him transfigured and know that He is divine… Because in the Garden of the Gethsemane He’s taking on the sins of the world… They’re going to see Him in a much different light… My brothers in Christ they just want to stay close to Him… 
D. Go back in scripture go back in the old testament my brothers and sisters in Christ… Noah can you imagine… I’ll tell you what you’re living with Noah you live next-door and the good Lord says Noah I want you to take you and your wife and your children and their wives… You can get the next-door neighbor and I’m gonna save each one of them but that’s it no more… Can you imagine what it must’ve been to build something 3-400 feet long 2-300 feet wide and 200 foot or so tall… brother and sisters in Christ… You know how long it took him to build the ark… every day you get one step closer to Christ… Every day your closer saving the world… Every day salvation becomes closer to you… But let me tell you the price that you pay what do you think the people thought when they went by… You know they had to go by… I mean come on… Not a cloud in the sky in the guy‘s building an ark… I mean brothers and sisters in Christ… Make sure you understand this too… that’s a proper name… this ain’t a parable… whenever the good Lord uses a proper name He’s being specific about a person… Ever since the Garden of Eden… Everybody gets a name… Brothers and sisters in Christ… if the rain didn’t get you the fact that animals are parading by you should have surely gotten your attention that somethings amiss… You know what’s amazing… Do you know much how much grief that they had to put up while they were building it… So that they could get closer to God… Imagine if they would’ve built this thing in Amite… Oh yeah AT&T ain’t got nothing on Amite brothers and sisters in Christ… I’m telling you we would have disparaged them six ways to Sunday… And you know what’s amazing… Noah doesn’t close the ark… Man tell me the good Lord doesn’t know what He’s doing… You know why he doesn’t close the ark God close the ark… Because He knows if He leaves it to Noah… If He leaves it to you and I… You know what the problem’s going to be…  We’re going to shut that door and when that rain starts to come… and the end is near… People are gonna be banging on the side of that ship and they’re gonna be calling our name… And we’re going to recognize it as our family our parents our grandparents our relatives our friends and if we open that ark we will no longer remain close to God… That’s why God closed the ark so that Noah could never open it… Because that was gonna be the price that he would have to pay to be close to Christ… Brothers sisters in Christ I’m not just talking about the Old Testament man the New Testament is exact same way… Anybody that wants to be remotely close to Christ is going to pay the price… But that’s the price of salvation… That’s why the gates to heaven are small… And the gates to hell are large… Because there’s a price to pay to walk closer to Christ… But it should be one were willing to pay… Man Simon of Cyrene… Do you understand I don’t think people realized the price that he paid… You don’t understand… if you’re a Jew and you’re going to Jerusalem for the Passover you’re coming from all over the world… Man and if you’re not dressed appropriately and you don’t have the money there better not be one drop of blood on you anywhere… Because now your contaminated and guess what your quarantined for seven days your family is going to be removed from you… You’re not even gonna be able to go to the Passover… You’ve traveled all that way so that when you pull Simon out of the crowd not only are his two sons there he’s got blood on him… Moreover of a convicted felon… And you got to carry the cross but guess what… Yeah he might’ve “missed the Passover”… But boy did he truly catch the Lamb of God… Right here it is this day… we now know his name is in the book of life we don’t even know his last name… We just know that he’s from Cyrene somewhere north Africa… Can you imagine… But that’s what it means to be closer to God… Veronica walks out in the middle to wipe His His face… You know what it must’ve been to put your hands on His face with that clothe and then look down and find out that that is an exact duplicate that we still have 2000 years later in the Church that’s often time shown on Easter Sunday at the Vatican… At Saint Peters… Can you imagine what it must’ve been like for Longinus to say man I’m the one that stabbed You… But now I don’t want to leave from You… So much so that about two years later he’s martyred… 
E. My brothers and sisters in Christ… Can you imagine what it must’ve been to be an apostle… to walk with Christ and to sit right next to Him for dinner… to walk with Him in the towns… To help Him when someone’s blind or dead or more over there crippled… can you imagine what it must’ve been like to talk to Him and say Lord can I tell You about my family… Lord can I mention my work… Lord I’ve got this anxiety I just don’t know where I’m going… Lord what if You’re not the Messiah… can you imagine what it would’ve been like to hold Him… to embrace Him… Brothers and sisters in Christ… nothings changed He does it to each and every one of us… But the problem is were Thomas’s and we can’t see… Brothers sisters in Christ that’s why it’s a walk of faith… That’s why you and I have to pray… You and I sit here 2000 years later how much closer can you and I get to Christ… As close as you want to be… My brothers and sisters in Christ will you do what is necessary to get closer to Christ… We you make that extra prayer… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Don’t you understand… everything you and I do… everything you and I say… every you and I act on… everything that you and I type or respond or how we do things… either brings us closer to Christ or does it bring us further away from Him… You are never neutral to Christ… You’re always directional to Him… So when you get that email ask yourself should I respond to this email or if I do in what manner should I do it… My brothers sisters in Christ don’t you see… If an angel followed us and all the angel did all day was just marking a book on how we acted… Not what we said on how we acted… Would he return home at night and say Lord… Wow… Don’t be caught driving with them Lord… And don’t go to work with them Lord… They’re not a morning person or an evening person or an afternoon person Lord… And Lord… I got a tella it’s just not good… What if the angel came down and followed you and I and didn’t see our actions all the angel heard was our voices and our words… Would he return to heaven and say oh Lord that person must’ve been in the Navy… man my brother sisters in Christ… don’t you see you and I can’t be neutral to Him… Man it’s not the speed in which we do things… It’s direction in which we walk… asked yourself at the end of the day the good Lord is going to measure you and I on judgment day… He’s going to measure all the times that we walked away from Him and all the times we walked forward to Him… At night before you go to sleep ask yourself did I walk closer to Christ today… Is this in the plus column… Or is the day totally loss… How many more days do you and I think that we have… We have no say… So why would we be on guard to make sure that we don’t get caught up in the gossip that we don’t add to it that we just simply walk away… Or we don’t get caught up in judging… Moreover brothers and sisters in Christ… that our work is a means to an end… And that’s all it’s ever meant to be… to bring us closer to Christ… My brothers and sisters in Christ… There is no fence between heaven and hell… And if there had been… It would be owned by the devil… And at the end of the day He told you that if you are lukewarm I will spit you out of My mouth… At the end of the day everything that you and I do will be recorded… It will be in the book of life… And if our names not in it what are we gonna say… Man we miss heaven by this much… Man it’s close enough for government work… No it’s not… That’s the whole point… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Were either in heaven or we’re not… We either make it or we don’t… Brothers and sisters in Christ… you constantly must be walking towards Him… Because if you are not and you’re gonna walk away from Him… And it’s going to be this way for all eternity… 
F. My friends in Christ I leave you with this… It was a great anonymous quote… The guy said… I may not be where I need to be… I may not be where I need to be… But thank God I’m not where I used to be… 
G. My brothers and sisters in Christ… Amen…
 
 

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