2017 Homilies (Written)


Luke 10:38-42; 7-21-2019 (As Built; Amite #361)
A. Anxiety, Anxiety... 
B. It’s the 1940’s-1950’s... His name is Jim... Jim is a big boy... Jim is about 6’8… He’s probably about 250 pounds and he’s got a very protracted walk... His steps are exponential... He’s got a kind of swagger to him… Kind of cowboy-ish if you will... And if you were to ask his brother Peter about it, because Peter is a little more outspoken, Jim is, man, he is just to himself... And He’ll tell ‘em he said look the reason Jims not telling you anything about it was because he said you know in high school and all that when we played sports it was uneventful, we said… But when the war came, he said, my brother wanted to make sure he was involved... Man, it was World War II, this is all hands on deck... As a result, he is 6’8, the air force couldn’t take him... I take it as because of the cockpit or the airplane, not real sure... So they put him in the army... He said the war is escalating… Mussolini has taken over this, Hitler has taken over this… So man the next thing you know they have to invade Italy... Jim is in one of those, you’ve seen the boats right?, the one that the front door drops and all of the guys come running out, right?... As a result of it, they are getting close to landing in Italy because they have to take over Mussolini, so the Sargent yells to Jim, Jim, get in the front... He said wait a minute, I’m 6’8, Imma be hard to miss... He said well no, this is why… When the door drops, you run out first... He said if you drop and you drown, then I know it’s too deep and we gotta keep going... He said my anxiety is off the charts... Bullets are flying, bombs are going off, people are screaming, the door drops... He said, man I’m out like a flash because... He said man, it’s every man for himself... He said it drops to my waist, man, they are filing out behind me... He said I take my group and we go over to the right... Now they told Jim that there would only be one machine gun nest... He said by the time he gets to where he needs to be just on the shore, he said there is four... He knows the one that they gotta get to is in a farm house, so he is yelling to his guys that, look, l’m going to go all the way around. It is going to take 10-15 minutes, look for me, then when you see me, wait about a minute… And then I need you to fire upon the nest, because I’m going to come in from the back... Man, he goes all the way around... He said he never had that much anxiety in his life... He said he thought he was nervous landing, he said now he was about to break into a machine gun nest, he didn’t know what to expect... He gets behind it, he gives them the high sign... Man, next thing you know bullets are flying back and forth, he breaks in... He said it was hand-to-hand combat... He said that people were dying left and right, screaming, blood going every which way, he said but I survived without a scratch... He said I just couldn’t believe that I survived… He said man, I leave to get around and then a sniper shoots me in the hip... He said I fall into a river, he said and if I’m not this tall, I probably can’t even survive the river… He said for 18 hours I sit in this river... He said man, my life was passing before me... He said I thought about going back to high school, I thought about being in the choir… He said everything is happening to him... He said that finally somebody finally kind of wakes him out of a coma-esque state and he said man, they get him to a hospital… One year in the hospital… Not a day, not a month, a year Jim is in the hospital... When he comes out his brother, Peter, has already got a job... He is doing the show “Mission Impossible”... Big hint, big hint... Maybe not, but that’s okay... As a result of it he is sleeping in his car because at 6’8 he said, man, where am I going to sleep... And as a result of it, his brother Peter comes to him, he says Jim, I’ve got a job for you... You’ve got to meet this guy, it’s John Wayne... He said John Wayne noticed him… He said man, I’ve got the western for you… He said I notice you got a little bit of a swagger, kind of got a cowboy-... He said no look man, I got shot in the hip, I was in the war… He said no, no, it’s a good look... What Imma do is we’re gonna have a western and we’re gonna have you walk down this long street, Main Street... And there is always gonna be some trouble at the Long Branch Saloon... Oh Lord this is really happening, right?... And as a result of it, he’s got a deputy named Festus... He’s got a doc whose always grumpy, I don’t know, he just was… And of course, Ms. Kitty ran the Long Branch Saloon... And yeah, you know him, my brothers and sisters in Christ, as James Arness, more over as Matt Dillon... Do you know what’s amazing, when they ask him about his anxiety that he had, he said that he had it his whole life. It just started in the army and became so protracted that he said man, he almost couldn’t do anything and when he went to the hospital he said that all he knew how to do was worry... He said but every time from being shot in the water, taking over the machine gun nest, and meeting John Wayne... He said it’s almost as if the good Lord put it right where He wanted it. There was no reason for the worry… 
C. That’s the Gospel… My brothers and sisters in Christ, The good Lord walks into a house, there is only three people in there, Martha, Mary, and the good Lord... And He’s telling Martha you are anxious and worried about the world and so busy that you’re making yourself busy... You’re making US nervous... Your sister is now sitting at My feet and, wait a minute, you’re a first century Jew, and you and I are sitting in that house... When you see someone sit at the feet of someone else, that usually means that’s a rabbi, which means there must be wisdom... Martha and Mary, and arguably and presumably that Lazareth’s sisters, they truly know where He sits, and what He’s trying to tell her is, look, there is nothing wrong with being hospitable, but it can’t be greater than discipleship... Let me put it to you another way, there is nothing wrong with going tailgating, but you have better have made the Mass... If you’ve spent more time tailgating than you did in prayer all week, hospitality is greater than your discipleship… We’re disordered… My brothers and sisters in Christ, do you know what’s amazing?... Martha is worried about the world… The Savior of the world is in her living room… He is trying to say that Mary has chosen wisely... He tells them in Luke later, do I not take care of the birds in the air?... Do I not take care of the flowers in the field?... Why would I not take care of you?... My brothers and sisters in Christ, think for a minute... If there is one guy in scripture that is the epitome of how to worry, it’s got to be Peter… Every time our boy gets into a boat with the good Lord, there is an issue… But do you know what is amazing?... It’s how the good Lord each and every time distances Himself from Peter to get Peter to grow, to come to understand that you gotta have more and more faith... The first time that they are in the boat, the good Lord wants to go fishing in the midnight hours... Peter has been out all day... That’s the night where they throw the nets over and they catch so much fish that the boat almost sinks... Peter drops in the boat and says depart from me Lord, I’m a sinful man... The good Lord is saying why are you so anxious Peter?... I’m the creator of the world by mere thought, you don’t think that I control the fish of the sea?... The next time they’re in a boat the storm comes up... The good Lord is in the bow of the boat... Man, Peter thinks he’s got it and then when it over whelms him because of the storm and the waters, and it’s lapping over into the boat, he says Lord, do you not care that I’m about to perish?.. Moreover, the good Lord gets up and rebukes the wind… It had to be something evil in it because the wind is of no value... Why would you rebuke unless there is something intrinsically evil within it?... My brothers and sisters in Christ, Peter is learning... Peter you have faith when I’m there to help you... I can calm the seas, I can gather the fish... He is trying to tell Peter when you start having worries when I’m not in the boat, well, let’s see how you do… The next time the good Lord is out on the water, and He’s telling Peter come... Peter begins to walk... You know the story, he takes a few steps and gets worried... Why?... He’s walking on water... But give him his due, at least he tried… There is eleven other guys on that boat, nobody is moving... But when the wind blows, he starts turning his head away from Christ… He starts looking at the world... He starts getting anxious, he starts getting worried, he begins to sink... Lord, help me… And before he drowns, the good Lord saves him immediately... Do you know what’s amazing my brothers and sisters in Christ?... The next time that he is in the boat is at the very end, when the good Lord is resurrected by a charcoal fire, and when he recognizes Christ for who He is, he is so desperate to be next to Him that he’ll swim a football field to go sit next to Him… My brothers and sisters in Christ, all of that worry about catching fish, the storm, walking on water, means absolutely nothing... He had it all in hand... Peter is teaching you and I the exact same thing…
D. Here you and I sit 2000 years later... How much of your day, be honest, how much of your day is consumed with worry… Man, how much are we worried about yesterday?... That’s the would’a, could’a, should’a demon... It’s all about the regrets, it’s all about this, it’s all about that, I mean man, if we could just go back and relive it... My brothers and sisters in Christ, cut it loose and let it go... It’s got nothing on you... There is no string tied to you about the past… You think the devil, he’s using the string just to get you to walk backwards through life, so that you hit everything that’s coming up and your always looking back on something you can not change, nor does he want you to... The good Lord wants you to cut it loose and let it go that you and I will learn from it and grace will build on our nature... How much of your day is spent worrying about tomorrow?... Well man Father, it’s the work, I’ve gotta get that job, I need that commission, I need that check... I’ve got the written notice, I’ve got the car note, I’ve got the school tuition... Lord, man, You don’t understand... My brothers and sisters in Christ, how much time at work are you consumed with who you work with, how much are you consumed about your boss and the jobs that you’re doing as if the good Lord is totally oblivious to everything that’s going on in your world?... How much time do you spend worrying about the doctors visit what’s he going to say, what’s he going to do, and then where do we go from this, where do we get the money, what about the insurance, what is this going to mean?... What about worrying about tests?.. Lord, You don’t understand, I’ve got to pass this test, if I don’t pass I may have to skip a semester, I’ve got another class to take, my college career will turn out to be 10 years long… It’s not a bad career I’m just saying... My brothers and sisters in Christ, how much of your day has been in yesterday?... Don’t you see?... The devil wants you to live in another day... He is working incessantly hard...
E. Look, C.S. Lewis is absolutely right... In The Screwtape Letters, and I’ve told you this before, there is Lucifer talking to his son, and his son is telling his dad Lucifer I know how to get people... And he is saying son, listen to me, you know nothing… He said no, dad, I know the seven deadly sins, pride, anger, gluttony, lust, avarice, sloth, and envy... Each are demons and each report to you... I am going to go down to Amite, Louisiana at 10 o’clock Mass and I will get them on pride... I will get them on anger... I will get them on lust... I will get them on sloth... I will get them on envy… I will get them on gluttony... I will get them all... And he’s saying son, how do you know you will get them on pride?... Maybe they need to be got by anger, or this one needs to be sloth, or this one has to be avarice and money... He said son, all you’ve got to do, and you’ll get every one of them, take their peace... Give them worry and they will do it all for you and you’ll get everybody at the 10 o’clock Mass... My brothers and sisters in Christ, the evil one hates you to the very essence of your being... You have a name and you have been made in the image of Christ and the good Lord named you in your mother’s womb... Through every chance he’s got to place that doubt in your mind to give you anxiety he’s gonna do whatever it takes... He doesn’t care if it has to do with last week, two weeks, 6 months ago, 6 years ago… He doesn’t care about what the future is... You pull something off, he’s gonna put something back on… He’s got to do something to rob you of your peace... It’s paramount that you and I must stay in the day... You don’t understand how important this is to you... Yes I know it is a struggle… 
F. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I leave you with this... Let me back up a minute… Winston Churchill goes to see a friend and he is on his deathbed... Winston Churchill says tell me, tell me where are you... He says man, my time is short... The day has come... He says though is there anything I can do for you... He says you know Winston, I spent my entire life worrying… He said all I ever did was worry... You pick it, I worried about it... Big, small, I made all worries equal... He said do you know what is amazing?... I’m still gonna die here in the next couple of days... Even if I hadn’t worried I wish I hadn’t... He said why are you saying that now?... He said because about half of the things that I worried about never came true...  My brothers and sisters in Christ, therein lies the point... I’m begging you to work at staying in the day... That the evil one has no string on you... Do you know what happens when you and I worry?... You actually are telling the good Lord, you’re telling Him You have no say in this, that this is not Your house, that You are not God, and that I control my own destiny... You and I had no say so in whether we were male or female, born in this country or another, or even what our name is... And we’ve got the unmitigated gall to say that we are self-made… Brothers and sisters in Christ, when you worry do you know what that’s like saying?... The good Lord is looking at you as He is now and He is looking down upon you and all of a sudden something happens in your world because you had been worrying about it happens... Do you honestly believe that when the good Lord looks down He goes huh, what were the chances of that?... Oh my Me... That’s a million—Peter get Thomas, come look at this they were worried about it and dang if it didn’t happen, no one told Me... If He brought you to it, He will bring you through it, and He brought it to you for a reason whatever it may be... He’ll be with you until the end of time and never leave you orphans… My brothers and sisters in Christ, Mark Twain had a great quote… Worrying, anxiety is like sitting in a rocking chair… You’ve got great movement, but you go nowhere... No worries...
G. Amen... 



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