2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 18:9-14; 10-27-2019 (As Built; Amite #374)
 
A. Me… Me… It’s all about me… Selfish self-centered narcissistic… Pick an adjective… 
B. It’s about 1775 his name his name is Frank… Frank knows how can Frank not know… I mean it self evident I mean everybody should know… But Frank duly knows… Frank started out maybe as a judge became a congressman actually pinned his name to the Declaration of Independence and now is the Secretary of War… The War with Britain is coming… The fight for independence in the colonies within days… I mean he was at the Constitutional Convention when Benjamin Franklin stood up and said we must sign this document we don’t hang together we’re going to hang separately… He is decided that he needs to prepare for war he convenes his first council as Secretary of the Navy he knows the things that he needs yeah he knows he needs muskets we need uniforms we need cannons we need powder we need cannonballs we need musket balls but we also need this design that he put on a sheet of paper… He said I can go to war with bullets and bombs and this and that I cannot go if I do not have this… And this is how it works it goes from the Secretary of the Navy to the Treasury to the Treasury to the Congress Congress to the Task Force… oh you’re getting it… He sends it up the food chain it gets to the Task Force… Oh we’re sorry nobody approve that… It goes back to Congress back to the Treasury back to him… He said we did approve it that’s why we sent it to you… This is the Secretary of the Navy this is what we need to do… He sends it back saying it has been approved the Treasury the Congress the Task Force… Task Force says well if it’s been approved then surely you have an invoice for it… Oh yeah you see where this is going… It goes back down the food chain to Congress back to the Treasury and he says an invoice he said how about y’all just give me a bottle of wine and we’ll call it good… How about a case of wine… Be done with it he sends it back to the Treasury back to Congress it gets to them and they said a case of wine do you have an invoice for that… Nothings changed into thousand years in the government… I’m just saying… Man they send it back down to Congress to the Treasury it gets back to him he’s furious… He gets so mad he hand carrys it through the Treasury he gets through Congress he actually convenes a vote… he goes to the Task Force and he says THIS needs to be approved he said it is not about me it’s about we… And we’re going to go to war and I’m not going without THIS… We can’t go give me all the bullets you want… please and I need them… but without this design I cannot get there… We cannot get there… so it is not about me it’s about we…  my brothers and sisters in Christ… They finally approve it they finally get it to him so that they can put it on the ships that they can put it everywhere they want… He didn’t even have time to make it so they actually took their design and they gave it to a woman by the name of Betsy Ross… The flag of which we sleep my brothers and sisters in Christ… You know it’s amazing… Frank Hopkinson is his name who designed the flag of the United States… On his deathbed is talking to his friend he said by the way I never got that wine…
C. My brothers and sisters in Christ the Gospel is all about me… That’s the point… How well how well did we listen… Five times He uses the word I three times He uses the word Himself… Twice He use the word Me… 10 times in scripture that whole prayer centers around one person… just the Pharisee…. Now stop… You are a first century Jew and you live in this timeframe… We know that there are four groups of Jews… there is a Pharisee a Sadducee an Essene which is a Qumran is a Dead Sea Scrolls and then there are the Zealots… If you are a Pharisee you do have political sway… You are considered separate because people will recognize you by the way that you dress… In other words they know that you will pray a certain way… They are respected they believe in the first five books of the Bible they also believe in the hereafter they believe in the soul they believe in angels as far as the Pharisees they do not get along with the Sadducees… The Sadducees are priest that only believe in the first five books they don’t even believe in the hereafter I’m not sure why most of them are priest you see it’s sad… you.. see… That’s a joke my brother and sisters in Christ I’m just trying to make sure… As far as it was I’m sure they won’t repeat it I promise you that… Then you have the people like the Dead Sea Scrolls those are the Essenes John the Baptist is an Essenes John the gospel writer was influenced by the Essenes… You know who the Essenes are… remember the good Lord told them to go to town whoever the man is  carrying water follow him into the city… And that’s where we will have the Last Supper they’ll be a room for Me… The only men who are carrying water are celebate Jews they are the Essenes… My brothers and sisters in Christ and of course there are the zealots those are the people that would probably fight before it came to logic or to reason they are a little more outgoing a little more outspoken… So as a Pharisee to sit in there and be praying and praying to himself man thank God I’m not like that person oh by the way he’s a tax collector… You know brothers and sisters in Christ this is how we categorize people… tell me gossip isn’t alive and well if you are a prostitute it would be better if you were a prostitute than a tax collector… That’s where they see the world… Because tax collectors are also very wealthy because when you pay the tax you paid a little extra so it could go into their pockets… You want to get by the toll gate he’s going to give Ceasar his money but he’s going to get his too as well… But not all acted that way… so for the Pharisee to disparage him right in the middle of a prayer how self-centered and narcissistic is that… My brothers and sisters in Christ… Look listen to me… 
D. Go back in scripture people fall into two categories you’re either a me or a we… I mean… Herod the Great you’re not even a Jew you’re a Edomite and therefore your King of the Jews that’s his title… He wants to be the coming of the Messiah… That’s why he wants King of the Jews… So he could be seen that way this is why he get so upset when the apostles come and say where is the newborn King man people’s gonna realize man I’m not it two I’m not really a Jew so what do I do I have to kill him… He’s so narcissist… let me tell you how bad this guy is he kills… Let me tell you if you are one of the Wiseman the last guy on the planet you want to talk to is that guy… Because you can go to a meeting and never come out… He kills people like there’s no tomorrow… He kills his favorite wife and two of his favorite sons… His favorites… My brothers and sisters in Christ… He’s so diabolical by the time he makes the proclamation that all these people under the age of two should be killed telling the Wiseman that oh I’ll come with you and go worship… And then all the sudden sends out armies to go kill… He can’t even get on his horse to go he’s got several venereal diseases he so bloated he’s actually carrying worms… He’s got so bad of gout and diabetes his heart is on the verge of exploding… He can’t even get on a horse he can barely wear clothing… And you know how diabolical he is… He told his number one guy he’s number one centurion that on the day that I die I need you to kill part of my counsel if not all of them so that on the day of my death at the funeral for all of us there’s at least people that are weeping… That’s how self-absorbed he is that’s a measure of his resolve… Pilate is no different… Think about it… Pilate is the same as him… Man I am in the armpit of the world and if I don’t put this guy down I’ll never leave… That’s how self-absorbed he is… But for every one of those there’s one of him… Joseph… We barely know anything about him the protector and a provider of the Tabernacle chosen by God Himself… Tell me that is not the consummate team player… His name is in the book of life… All he ever did was provide and protect… My brothers and sisters in Christ who better than John the Baptist can you imagine you’re an Essene Jew you live by such strict dietary habits that when you leave your compound you could only eat off of nature… I.e. locust and wild honey… Brothers and sisters in Christ… Every time somebody tries to put favor on him… your profit… I AM NOT… Oh you’re Elijah… I AM NOT… You’re the Messiah … I AM NOT… Another words I’m using I am and the not to make sure that you differentiate the more importantly I can’t even loosen Hs sandals… You know what it was back in the day… You and I will come home after being wherever the fields wearing sandals… The only one that can touch your sandals was a slave… My brothers and sisters in Christ he can’t even do that…I’m just a weed blowing in the wind… I have to decrease… we… for He may increase… 
E. Well now here we sit 2000 years later… Let me ask you what camp are you in… Look you can’t be in both… Well most of the time I’m away for most of the time… No you’re either in or you’re out… You’re either operate this way or you don’t… You have to have a discipline to be a we… When we go to work let me ask you… When you go to work is it all about who you working for… The people their not so much the decimal point I don’t do that that’s out of my pay grade moreover I’m not doing that that’s not my job description… How will people know… That you are a follower and a disciple of Jesus Christ how will they ever say when you walked out of the room how will they ever begin to say now that was a disciple of Jesus Christ… From the way you carry yourself from the words you use from your actions from your thoughts how will they know if you don’t start acting as a we… are not the three greatest gifts faith hope and charity love sacrifice my brothers sisters in Christ… When somebody gives you that phone call on the way home can you pick something up… Man do they hear like somebody let the air out of the room do they hear that you complain or do you just do it so you can receive the grace and the grace builds on our nature… When you get home my young people in faith… I mean you ate the meal… Can you at least help clean up I mean you did eat it… Oh let me ask oh you’re wearing the clothes… Could you at least help wash them… Put them up clean your room it’s a we world my brothers sisters in Christ… When you go to pray at night are you the first person that you pray for for or the last person you pray for… Will you pray for those who do not like you which is the pinnacle of being a saint… My brothers and sisters in Christ when you go to do something will you make sure that everybody is taken care of before you sit down… Will you make sure everybody’s in a good spot… When they call you and that ball game is about to start… And it’s the LSU/Alabama game… It’s the largest religion in the south… Will you go stay on that phone knowing full well for an hour… You will start at the same spot and end up in the same spot… They will ask you the same questions you’ll give them the same answers… They’ll ask you again to a point where you get so frustrated… Will you stop and just listen… They don’t need you to answer it they don’t need you to hear… well you think it’s bad on you let me tell you about me… well you think that’s bad you let me tell you that this… what you need to do no… No they just want you to listen… My brothers and sisters in Christ… How hard are you working today at being a we in your family to making sure that everybody else as well guarded and well taken care of… My brothers and sisters in Christ we live in such a self absorbed narcissistic world we can’t see the forest through the trees… It’s all about me what about on my time… My brothers and sisters in Christ I’m telling you if you do not learn to help others along the way you and I will get to the pearly gates and if we recognize no one in that side of the pearly gates were at the wrong gate… Because we’re going to make heaven on somebody else’s coattails… Hence we have to be a we… somebody’s going to make it on our own… Are you not a Simon can somebody at your home can you family call you oh Father they call me all the time… I don’t know I have brothers and sisters and the only one they call… Well Simon… That’s why they’re calling you… Because you’re a we and you can make it happen… Well because they call you at work… Simon… You’ve been called your name is in the book of life to show them that Christ does exist… And that you are willing to do what it takes… 
F. My brothers and sisters in Christ I leave you with this Mother Theresa spot on… She wrote a poem called Anyway… People are unreasonable illogical self-centered… forgive them anyway… If you are happy people will be jealous… be happy anyway… If you are successful you will win false friends and true enemies… you succeed anyway… If you are honest oh they’re going to cheat you… be honest anyway… Give it all… Give till it hurts… Give to the very last drop… Because at the end of the day it was never between you and them… It was between you and Him anyway… WE… 
G. Amen
 

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