2017 Homilies (Written)


Luke 19:1-10; 11-3-2019 (As Built; Amite #375)
A. Attachments… Attachments… As in unhealthy attachments…
B. It’s the 1960’s… his name is Allen Buchinsky… He is a small town USA  boy… He is a small town USA Pennsylvania boy… He is one of 15 children… I love the look of faces of women when I say that 15 children I just gotta see the expression… As a result he would tell you that man poor doesn’t even begin to explain their problems… He gets one dollar per ton of coal… His dad was a coal miner… His mom well obviously the quintessential mom taking care of 15… He said man poor doesn’t even begin to explain it… Man we lived on hand-me-downs… that’s the only way to do it… the problem he will tell you… is the one above me is my sister… He said it was just wrong… He said as a result of it he’s doing the best he can he’s the only one of 15 that gets to go to high school… He’s decided that when he gets out of high school he’s got to do something then the war starts and then he’s decided I’ve got to go to war… that’s what we do we defend our country… Very Catholic family very country visible type people… And as a result he goes flys in the Air Force and becomes a bomber… he flys many missions lots of times he gets wounded he’s plane comes down he wins the Purple Heart… He comes back from the war and he says man I will do anything but go back to the coal mine… I will even act… I will act on the stage I’ll act in a play I will act out on a corner I got to do something… He said I’m not going back… He said man being that poor he said I’ve never forgotten in my life… He said I don’t want to be attached to anything that causes me to get back in that world… As a result of it… he goes to work in a Bingo Parlor in a casino… He said man he can’t even get the rent… so he starts rooming with a guy by the name of Jack… He said Jack is the quintessential slob… He said this man is such a mess waiting to happen… He said we have to live together we have no money… Man he said we are doing all we can do Jack decides he’s going to pitch the idea of an odd couple to Neil Simon… Neil Simon takes it puts Jack Clubman in the part… but they don’t put Allen in the other part… they get some guy to play Felix and he’s saying wait a minute… that’s me I can play me put me in that part… And when you figure out who this guy is your going say man how would he have fit in that scenario… He wouldn’t have… As a result man he’s about to starve to death… Jack’s trying to help him there’s not enough money to go around… they get him in a bit part in the movie RIDING SHOTGUN and that grew into another movie MACHINE GUN KELLY… And all of a sudden he gets a part in a movie he got the main part the problem was it just wasn’t a popular movie called APACHE… My brothers and sisters in Christ then all of a sudden he turns down  A FIST FULL OF DOLLARS Clint Eastwood takes it… mega star… Allen will say today biggest mistake of his life…  As a result he comes back and then all of sudden the world does open up for him… He gets a bit part in the DIRTY DOZEN then he gets one in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN he’s in DEATH WISH… He’s Charles Bronson my brothers and sisters in Christ… Please tell me somebody knows who Charles Bronson is… You know what’s amazing… that at the end of the day he said man we were so poor I agreed that I would never attach myself to anything that would put me in that exact spot… 
C. My brothers and sisters in Christ… that’s the Gospel… that’s what’s going on… The good Lord is coming to Jericho and as a result Zacchaeus… a wealthy man… a tax collector… the tax collector… which means he’s the chief cheat… He’s got the ability to steal and not break the law… He can take as much money from you he doesn’t have to be the same as you versus you or you or you… He can charge whatever he wants… My brothers and sisters in Christ… he’s decided to climb a tree in his best clothes…  and try to decide if he should attach himself to the One that is coming or to the world that is… Now stop you and I are 1st Century Jews… We’re living in Jericho… this is in Southern Judea and it’s right on the border… which means many people come through… many dollars come through… My brothers and sisters in Christ you and I are sitting there and as a 1st Century Jew this is what we know… When we see Christ coming and we see him climbing a sycamore tree we know that as a Jew the sycamore tree in translation means ‘the foolish tree’… you don’t want it it doesn’t bear fruit… no use planting it and you asking it to give you shade 100 years from now… As a result you a fool in his best clothes… a ranking tax collector climbing and making a fool of himself in the tree that is a fool… And you know if you translate his name you know what it means the innocent one… of all people a tax collector… Now stop listen to what Zacchaeus does… He proclaims out loud before they get to the house… Lord I will give up half of everything that I have owned… He’s not just saying he’s sorry… I’ll do better from this point forward… He not only offered repentance he’s offering reformation… I’m going to go back to the very beginning and give up half of everything I have owned and will continue to do so… And if I have wronged anybody I will pay it fourfold… Let me tell you… as a Jew that would have hit us hard… Because that means he knows the book of Exodus… which means you steal a goat you have to give four back… if you steal a sheep you have to give four back… if you steal a cow… you have to put five back… He’s saying not only will I give up everything in my past and what I own and in the future but I will also make fourfold… And did you listen to what the good Lord said… listen this is important to you as Catholics… He said salvation came to this house… Brothers and sisters in Christ there is a difference between salvation and redemption… Don’t ever combine the two… Just because He died on the cross doesn’t mean the gates of Heaven are open for us just to waltz right in… that somehow the Ten Commandments are sticky notes… there guidelines there suggestions there commands He wrote it with His finger and He wrote it twice… Redemption is the Crucifixion Salvation is the Pearly Gates… How you and I get from Redemption to Salvation follow the Ten Commandments… Keep the Sacraments… Follow what the Church is teaching you and you’ll stay right on the road to Salvation… That’s what He’s saying… because of what of did Zacchaeus publicly… given up half of everything you own giving restitution… and now you’re living a different life you are only attached to Me Salvation… the Pearly Gates… has now come to your door… You know who else He did it to in Scripture… the good thief… This day you will be with Me in Paradise… because he publicly acknowledged… Remember me this day knowing He was the Messiah… 
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ go back in Scripture… Everybody falls into one of two camps… your either attached or your unattached… people who are attached to the world… That would be people like Herod… King Herod… King of the Jews… He’s not even a Jew he’s an edomite… he wants to be the new Messiah hence the moniker King of the Jews… That’s why when the wise men see him he gets so adamant and upset… why… there’s a newborn King of the Jews… a child… I have spent my entire life being King… I’ve built a Temple for the Jews so that they can worship me… My brothers and sisters in Christ… he’s so diabolical and attached to the world and to power and to money that not only does he kill his favorite wife and several of his children not only does he kill his counsel… my brothers and sisters in Christ… first of all he’s got every known disease of the time of the world in him… He has worms he’s got venereal disease he’s got heart issues he’s got gout he’s got diabetics… brothers and sisters in Christ… at the time of his death he can’t even mount a horse they can barely get clothes on him but he refused to bend the knee… My brothers and sisters in Christ therein lies the point… he’s attached to the world… Pilate was no different… The reason he kills Christ is because I won’t ever leave the armpit of the world… The only way I can leave the armpit of the world is to make sure that He doesn’t become a problem so Caesar sees me as one of his boys… and I can leave… he’s all about the power… Isn’t it ironic that everybody who judged Christ and had attachments to the world… Herod… Pilate… Herod’s grandson that judged Pilate and then Judas every one of them took their own life… so much for attachments of the world… But I have to tell you for every one of those there’s one who is completely unattached… Job… In one day… one breakfast… all his camels… all his sheep all his cattle all gone all he can ever say is naked I came into this world and naked I shall return then when that’s not bad enough seven sons and three daughters all dead by noon and he says the exact same words… Naked I came into this world and naked will I return… unattached… talk about unattached is St. Joseph… You come into the world and your sole job is to become the protector and provider and almost in Scripture your unheard of… His whole life was dedicated to them… My brothers and sisters in Christ that everybody that had something to do with the Crucifixion everybody that was unattached to the world and became attached to Christ has their name in the Book of Life and we only know their first names… Simon of Cryene, northern Africa… Joseph of Arimathea… Veronica we only know her first name which means true icon… My brothers and sisters in Christ… even Longinus who speared Christ all we know is their first names… they are so attached to Christ that they don’t care what the world does or doesn’t do… They want their names in the Book of Life… 
E. Brothers and sisters in Christ you and I sit here 2000 years later… let me ask you… how attached are you to the world… let’s see… You were to go home you were to get rid of half of everything you own Zacchaeus… everything you own… one half… let’s start with easy things… one half of your shoes… I can say that because my mother isn’t sitting in the first pew… man my brothers and sisters in Christ one half of them are out… one half of your clothes one half of your money… you have two cars get rid of the second one… get rid of half your guns half your fishing equipment… you get one phone for the whole family and it’s a land line… get rid of half your computers… brothers and sisters in Christ get rid of half of everything you own… you got a house that is 4000 sq foot make sure you move into one that’s 2000… you got a house and a camp you gotta get rid of one of them pick one… My brothers and sisters in Christ… everybody drives one car… My brothers and sisters in Christ how attached are you and I to the world… let me ask you… go a day without your cell phone… ok half a day… brothers and sisters in Christ we lose that phone and within thirty seconds… WHERE’S MY PHONE??... I DON’T KNOW? WHERE DID YOU LEAVE IT?  WELL IF I KNEW THAT I WOULDN’T HAVE LOST IT!!!  WELL THEN CALL IT!!  CALL IT!!... Can you go one hour not turning it on mute turning it off… for one hour… My brothers and sisters in Christ… if you were addicted to a drug… alcohol… gaming… pornography… that you could not go 24 hours without taking part in it… so therefore if we use that same analogy as we should… for our cell phones could we go a day without your cell phone… your attached… and guess what… you will not enter My Kingdom until you are perfectly clean… My brothers and sisters in Christ we live in a world where we have so many attachments we don’t even know how to break loose of them…   We gotta get on the computer… we gotta check Facebook… For the love of Christ stay off of it… My brothers and sisters in Christ watch what you say and what you text… stop watching that much television… get rid of all your televisions… only keep one… My brothers and sisters in Christ you want to find out how attached you are walk away from it whether its Diet Cokes, Sweet Tea, or a certain alcohol, a drug, (that was meant for me just so you know Diet Cokes)…
F. My brothers and sisters in Christ… I leave you with this… it was a great quote from an anonymous person… they said almost all human grief originates from a desire a want or an attachment… and I leave you with the words of Christ’s response to St. Peter… Peter said… LORD WE LEFT EVERYTHING… EVERYTHING FOR YOU… Christ responds… He does respond maybe not scripturally but He does respond to that statement… Peter you left everything for Me?… EVERYTHING LORD… and the good Lord responds… Well how can that be… I AM EVERYTHING… 
G. Amen… 



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