2017 Homilies (Written)

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John 20:19-31; 4-28-2019 (As Built; Amite #351)
A. Commitment… Commitment… 
B. It’s the middle of the 1800s about 1880… His name is Dr. Gill… Dr. Gill is the guy… He’s up in age things aren’t as easy for him anymore… He has arthritis… his joints they ache constantly… He has heart issues so he always feels a little unbalance… circulation if you will… Man he’s just getting to that age where making visits to the people in the city man that’s just getting harder and harder… But notwithstanding he’s got a tremendous intellect… Well he’s visiting one night just sitting and reading and thinking about things and someone knocks at the door… It’s Eddie… Eddie knocks on the door here he comes Dr. Gill opens it and Eddie says… man Dr. Gill I know it’s late but man I need to talk to you… and he says well Eddie it’s actually better you probably came because me getting out especially at night well it just doesn’t happen much anymore… He invites Eddie in they sit down and they talk… He says what’s bothering you… He said man I can just see it in you… He said man Dr. Gill my hands… They shake constantly… Almost out of control… He said sometimes man I have these migraines they are debilitating I feel almost paralyzed… Especially with the sun man when the suns out I can’t even go outside he said I’m more of a night owl… and then he said well I have all these other issues… He said Dr. Gill was staring at him and looking at him and then he could see there was something wrong with him something wasn’t right… He said Eddie would you mind if we do like I hypnosis of sorts…  where you sit down I get you to relax we dim the lights where your eyes don’t hurt you don’t have headaches… And just allow me to talk to you… My brothers and sisters in Christ it’s a true story… He begins to talk to Eddie the lights are dim he’s sitting in front of him and he’s just talking to him very direct very simple… Very protracted… He says out of nowhere Eddie just changes … His disposition gets louder he gets more angry… He almost gets where Dr. Gill gets a little concerned… Then he starts to listen to Eddie and Eddie starts talking about the knife that he’s wielding… Then he starts talking about the person that he killed… Then he starts to describe the person that he killed… And man Dr. Gill is on his heels he doesn’t know what to say  what to think he doesn’t know whether to stop it or keep going is this the end of it or is this just the beginning… Man next thing you know… Eddie keeps going… And it’s not just one… But there’s two… And he’s describing what the person look like and describing the clothes… Well this goes on and on and finally Dr. Gill shuts it down and kinda gets Eddie to calm down a little bit and begins to talk to him again and tries to bring a bit him back to a more conscious state… and then man as he looks at him Eddie looks just as fine and he says well Dr. Gill what did you think what did you hear… And he said well Eddie why don’t you go home for the day… And let me come visit you sometime tomorrow… Man all during the night Dr. Gill kept worrying… Do I go public with this… I mean there is a confidentiality of sorts… Can I just say what I heard I mean it is a client I am a physician… Well man pretty soon he prays all night long… He goes sees the chief of police… He says look I have no choice I have to tell you this… He starts describing what Eddie went through he starts describing the knife what it looked like the clothes what the person was wearing the lady her hair color her eye color… Next thing you know he starts describing the second one… Man the chief of police says woo… hang on Dr. Gill… He said you are aware that we have a serial killer going on now in England… Well no not really but I’m just telling you what I heard… He said how many deaths did he speak of… He said five… He said well that’s how many we have outstanding right now… He said he described every dress that the woman was wearing that the woman was a prostitute he even described in detail the marks where the marks were made… Finally he said you know who Eddie don’t you chief…  And he said yeah I know exactly who he is… Man they no sooner finish the conversation the chief goes to see Victoria… And says Victoria I need to see what you would call Eddie… And she says chief he’s already been committed… We’re going to commit him to the insane asylum… He’s got a disorder that we can’t even touch… We believe he might’ve even had syphilis and therefore we can’t control him… He said well I need to take him with me and she says no chief this is as far as it will go… He said the problem is you know him as Eddie but not everybody else calls him that… And then the problem comes out… You see Victoria is Queen Victoria… and Eddie is Jack the Ripper… My brothers and sisters in Christ it was the level of his commitment… Dr. Gill’s commitment… Not to mention Queen Victoria herself… To make sure that he was removed… 
C. My brothers and sisters in Christ that’s the whole point of the gospel… You and I only know a small portion of it… You’ll hear it… Thomas wasn’t with them… He called him Ditamas the twin… As a result of it he questions whether the good Lord… But nobody finishes the story… Does everybody remember that he was speared to death in India for his troubles of being a follower of Christ… Only thing that we remember 2000 years later is he’s doubting Thomas… My brothers and sisters in Christ… I want you to stop and think about what just happened in that room… Let’s go back in time… You and I our first century Jews and we’re part of the apostles were part of the disciples were in the room… Now you tell me just how bad ‘it was’ that he wasn’t their… Or maybe was it profound or Divine that he not be their… Brothers and sisters in Christ they’re in a room… First thing the good Lord says when He appears…  PEACE BE WITH YOU… He says it three times… For a Jew three is the most perfect number in the world… He says it three times… You know what’s amazing… That’s why we start every Mass MAY THE PEACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND THE LOVE OF GOD AND FELLOWSHIP OF HOLY SPIRIT BE WITH EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU… That’s where it comes from… Because His first opening line is peace… You know what’s amazing… I have to say as a priest… MAY THE PEACE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST BE WITH YOU… If the bishop was here… He would open it up by saying PEACE BE WITH YOU… Because he’s one of the 12… And that’s what it means to be Bishop… You would’ve noticed it immediately… My brothers sisters in Christ did you notice that the doors were locked… My brothers and sisters in Christ… If Thomas is wrong for not being there and they doubted… You’re telling me that the 10 guys in the room, because Thomas wasn’t there and neither was Judas… They lock the door they must not believed either… Why did the good Lord show them His hands and His feet… His side they didn’t believe my brothers and sisters in Christ… He says it no less than three times… Peace be with you… My brothers and sisters in Christ… I need you to understand something the door was locked It’s the same Body that was crucified but now It’s glorified… Which means… My brothers and sisters in Christ that time and the physical constraints of the world have no bearing… Listen to me… This is why the Eucharist is His resurrected glorified Body… Because time has no impact… And neither does physical reality so therefore we can still offer the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ at the Mass because time has no relevance… We can continue to offer the Body and Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ continually because the physical aspects have no impact on a glorified Body… My brothers and sisters in Christ… I need you to understand that once you get past that… The good Lord said… He said look at My hands He never said look at My wrist… There are Greek words for hands and wrists… Just like there are English words moreover brothers and sisters in Christ… Whether you argue that they were in His wrist because the crucifixion couldn’t have supported it… Or whether you believe it’s in His hands… There are still holes and they’re not ornaments… But make no mistake about it… Back in the day of the crucifixion… You were also tied to the cross because they usually dropped it before they got it into the hole… My brothers and sisters in Christ you know what’s amazing is He tells Thomas to stick your hand into My wound on the side… Not your finger not your thumb… Not just a partial… You know how big that wound must’ve been on the side of His body to stick your whole hand into it… My brothers and sisters in Christ did you understand that when He sent the apostles on there way He breathed on them and He said receive the holy spirit… Apostalos… In Greek… Go forth… He’s going to send you fourth… And what’s the first thing He talks about… This is the first time the Holy Spirit comes before them… Not Pentecost yet… First time the first sacrament He talks about before the Eucharist… Confession… Go out and heal them and forgive them of their sins… You retain it… it’s retained you let it stay unbound… it stays unbound… My brothers sisters in Christ you understand He’s telling them remember in John’s Gospel… He says you will do great greater miracles than I… Why would He make such a profound statement… He’s God they are not… He saying I’m going to allow these great miracles to happen… So that they would know that it can only come from God… But it will come through your hands Peter… James and John and James and Andrew and you too Bartholomew and you too Thaddeus and you too Matthias we will take Judas’ place… And you too Simon and you too Thomas… And you too Philip… Why because people need to realize… Remember where the good Lord’s miracle… All of a sudden they lower a man down into Peter’s house… He’s crippled the good Lord says look your sins are forgiven and everyone says You can’t say that… You’re not God… So people will know… pick up your mat and walk… He’s telling them you’re gonna do far greater things because I’m going to allow it… I’m going to allow your shadow Peter to fall on people in the Acts of the Apostles… You know what… When Paul gets on board I’m going to allow people to touch his garment… They’re gonna take that touched garment and lay it on those people in the portico and guess what they’re going to be cured… My brothers and sisters in Christ… He’s telling them I’m about to leave here… And now it’s all going to be on you… And they’re going to need to come to you to receive forgiveness… I don’t care if you priest-shop… You make sure you land that plane and you go to Confession…
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ go back in scripture… all of our best players are those people who are committed… Who would finish the race… You think about it… Simon carries that cross… We don’t even know who that man is… This is at the very end of the game… And he’s carring a cross 1 mile across 12 foot tall 8 foot wide… He carried it 1 mile to help our Savior… And now today his name is in the book of life… Because his level of commitment… Veronica gets in the middle and wipes His face and as a woman and a status of that day you would’ve been beaten maulded raped and pillaged… For just being a woman much less disrupt the crucifixion… That’s a level of commitment… To be Mary Magdalene… To have seven demons but yet you get up in the morning to be the first to see the risen Christ… Because she would rather be near a dead Savior than live people… My brothers and sisters in Christ… For everybody that had a level of commitment in this world there are those that failed miserably… Pilate… My boy Pilate… Did you honestly believe that washing your hands would somehow or another endear you to Cesar… That you would get out of the armpit of the world and somehow you would have great legions… My brothers and sisters in Christ… His level of uncommitment to do what is right cost him his life… Years later he took his own life… My brothers and sisters in Christ…You want to talk about someone who doesn’t have a level of commitment… would be Judas…thirty pieces of silver… your two words away from being St. Judas… I’m sorry… My brothers and sisters in Christ… King Herod… He’d rather kill 2000 young people so that he can still be King of the Jews… He’s commitment was no more to himself… he’s the height of a narcissists… My brothers and sisters in Christ… you want to meet somebody who has the height of commitment… St. Joseph… Your 33 years old when your introduced to Mary… Holy Spirit comes upon you and then an Angel talks to you and then you believe the Angel to protect Mary and her Son… Man to be the protector of the new tabernacle… The Messiah and His Mother… That is a man committed to the commitment… 
E. Well now here we sit 2000 years later… How committed are you and I to our faith… Easter Sunday and the Vigil we had over 1500 people come through the Church… Were lucky to make 600 today… The level of our commitment… the gates of Heaven are small the gates to hell are wide… Brothers and sisters in Christ… how much further we need to discuss this issue… Is your level of commitment greater this year than last year… Will you go to more Masses… I’m not talking about the obligatory ones… I’m talking about will you go the one more Mass this year than last year… What is the level of your commitment… Will you go to Confession one more time this year… I mean once a month… once a month… You can’t land the plane for ten minutes after we spent the whole month sinning… The average holy person in Proverbs sins 7 times a day… I’m not saying your not holy but let’s call it like it is… you haven’t gone to Confession for a month that’s 200 sins… Don’t go for a year that’s 2400… The further you and I get away from God the more days when your temperament changes… when your language changes… when your mood changes… when you become more angry… and more condescending… and more judgmental and more cursing… I can tell you you’ve grown from Him… And as a result of it… everything gets in the way… work people me you life… My brothers and sisters in Christ… you want to stay close to Christ… you want to raise your level of commitment… Go to Confession once a month… I don’t want to hear the argument… don’t tell me you go directly to the big guy… He never said it… Everytime I hear somebody proclaim they go directly to the big guy I can tell you right now… St. John you’re a bald faced liar… St. Luke please I have nothing for you… Matthew please your nothing more than a condescending idiot… My brothers and sisters in Christ… The gospel has spoken… He gave His apostles the authority… Because He would no longer be there… All things come through God… The forgiveness of sins… Ultimately comes through Him… But the fact of the matter is He had to breathe on them so that they could receive the Holy Spirit… They needed to feel something tangible… That’s why we use water at baptism… So that you can feel the water… That’s why I anoint you with oil after Mass so that you can feel when the sin has been removed… That’s why bells ring so that you and I can hear when heaven and earth touch… That’s why you wear a ring when you’re married… So that you can have an outward sign of an inward reality… Therefore when you go to confession you will hear your sins are forgiven… Look… in my prior life I didn’t go to confession either… I have to tell you I was a great judge… I was… I was very merciful to me… I was very understanding to me… Let me just help you it was always the woman’s fault I’m just saying I was a great judge… My brother sisters in Christ… Therein lies the point… When He goes to feed the 5000 men which is really 10,000 men and women which is about 15,000 men women and children with five loaves and two fish you know He never feeds one person… He feeds the 11 or the 12 and He says now you go feed them… So that they can get used to being fed by you… And that’s the point that He’s driving home… Can you not go to Eucharistic Adoration at least once a month… I mean I don’t care if it’s atleast for five minutes … at the end of the year you went 12 more times than you did last year… I mean I don’t care if it’s a drive-by I mean come on y’all… You’re either walking towards Him or away from Him you can’t be neutral… Because everything that you and I do… Whether it’s an email or text message a write up a conversation driving through town buying groceries sitting around having a cup of coffee I’m telling you everything that comes out of our mouth and out of our brain and our thoughts it either walks you towards Him or away from Him… And if you think it’s neutral… Let me help you the fence between heaven and hell it’s owned by Lucifer himself… My brothers and sisters in Christ I’m asking you to increase your commitment for you and your family… You and I have one job and one job only… And that’s to get to heaven… You either made it or you didn’t… And there will be no excuses… 
F. My brothers and sisters in Christ I leave you with this… They asked a man one time… I can’t remember his name… Give me the definition of commitment… And he struggled for a little bit and I’m paraphrasing… but I have to tell you he is absolutely spot on… WILL YOU REMAIN LOYAL TO THE WORDS THAT YOU SPOKE EVEN THOUGH THE MOOD IN WHICH YOU SPOKE IT HAS LONG GONE… What is your level of commitment… 
G. Amen…

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