2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 1:18-24; 12-22-2019 (As Built; Amite #380)

 

A. Tongue… As in the one in our mouth…
B. It’s the 1950s his name is Philip… Philip is a UK boy… He is the only child… His parents are bakers… Yeah they make a few dollars I mean it’s just a means to an end and he’ll tell you… He would live a totally isolated life… He could live on mountaintop… He said he can’t stand crowds he gets claustrophobic to a point of anxiety ridden… He’ll tell you that I would rather be living in a house in a mountaintop and study piano I love to draw I would love to write… He said grammar school and high school he was a total recluse… As a matter of fact they thought that he was probably stuck up because he couldn’t handle it… to this day he still suffers from the same disease… Here’s the irony he’s probably one of the greatest movie stars of our day… He said he’ll travel from one end of the country to the next… And he’ll do it from California to New York… He’ll take the back roads and he’ll go visit and just stop in diners and visit with people until they recognize who he is and then he’s got to go… He just can’t handle it… My brothers and sisters in Christ he meets of all people Richard Burton when he comes back from the war… And he gets a bit part in a play because he has no way he has no money… He said I was a taxi cab driver I worked the streets I did this… He said Richard Burton gives me a bit part in DEATH COMES TO MY DOOR and then GIVE ME A CIGARETTE… He said I could be on stage and be by myself and I loved it… And then all of a sudden he said man I’m trying to find more work and he meets Laurence Olivier who says man I got to get you in the game… you are just that talented… He starts doing movies like BOUNTY… He did A BRIDGE TOO FAR… ELEPHANT MAN… My brothers and sisters in Christ and then the world starts opening up for him you know what Steven Spielberg said about him… Steven Spielberg said he is one of the best actors of his day… He will study the line over 200 times per line… He told Steven Spielberg the less words the better… The less action the better… He said man it’s all about watching your tongue and boy is it true… He said he did a movie called LEGENDS OF THE FALL… He did ZORRO… OK brothers and sisters in Christ OK he played in the movie he played Hannibal Lecter… Anthony Hopkins my brothers and sisters in Christ… Here’s the height of irony…
C. That is exactly what the gospel is about… He decided that he was going to divorce her quietly do you understand what he just did… My brother and sisters in Christ… There is a set rules laws 600 of them in Deuteronomy… When that happens she is to be scourged 40 times… So they usually only scourge you 39 because if the person who scourges you miss counts then the roles reverse... he knows that she is with child so she would be scourged 39 times and he has decided that it is better that he walks away and be seen as a deadbeat dad then in anyway cast of shadow much less a beating upon her… That is how powerful and control he is of his tongue… How easy would it have been for him to go visit his neighbor thank God they didn’t have cell phones… Facebook… Emails or text messages… I bet he wouldn’t even have to say anything the village would’ve taken care of that for him… My brothers and sisters in Christ… Therein lies the point… Now if you’re his first century Jew… And we’re living in the day… And we’re hearing this… First you need to understand… It’s not a dream like you and I have when we sleep… It’s more along the lines of the words they use is more of a vision… Or an apparition… And how do you and I know that… Because in dreams he doesn’t call you by your first name… And then does it refer to her by her name… And then he doesn’t tell you what you need to do… I.e. you will call Him by name… Just like John the Baptist his dad Zachariah he was a mute until he wrote the name John on a tablet… The angel was telling him you do have to name Him because it does have to come from the father… My brothers and sisters in Christ… He wakes up and immediately reacts to it… He’s got total control… Of his tongue… My brothers and sisters in Christ…
D. Go back and scriptures… There’s only two sets and some people in scripture… Those who can control their tongue…And those who have no idea how to spell tongue… I mean think about it my brother and sisters in Christ your Thomas you didn’t get the memo Easter Sunday 10 other guys are in a locked room He walks through He walks through a locked door… Show me Your hands and Your feet so that you will know… They didn’t believe either… Why else would you have been in a locked room… My brothers and sisters in Christ… And then He blesses them and He prays with them… Your Thomas and they come to you… What if Thomas doesn’t say anything… Instead of saying in until I stick my fingers in His hands in my hands in His side what if he just says Hmm… What would be saying 2000 years later… Oh that’s Thomas Hmm… My brothers and sisters in Christ he made one mistake… You know what’s amazing no one remembers his other quotes… He told the Lord if You go back with the Lazarus Your going to Jerusalem and they’re going to stone You I will go with You to die… Nobody says that about him… What about the fact that he was speared to death in India… Nobody speaks to that… You know Peter I bet he had tattooed on his four head yeah I’m the one three times I got it already… 33 years he had to hear it… But nobody remembers that he did walk on water… And then it he did walk back to the boat too my brothers and sisters in Christ… Nobody remembers he was the first want to cure… Nobody remembers he was the first one to proclaim… He’s the first one to set the Church in motion… He was crucified upside down and for three hours proclaimed the Gospel… Why don’t we say that… My brothers and sisters in Christ you know what’s amazing… To this day I can name a quote and you can probably name the person… That’s how powerful the tongue is… If I told you the quote… it’s not so much what we can do for you as much as it is what you need to do for your country… Most of you would say that’s JFK… If I told you that there was a famous American general and World War II that says you don’t win a war by dying for a country… You win a war by making the other SOB die for his… and as a result of it you would say that was Patton… You know what’s amazing there’s some great orators in our world that said man when they asked him what you wanna do with an AWOL soldier he said I always found that they do better 6 feet above the ground than 6 feet below… In other words don’t kill him… He said I’ve always found that the mark of a great man is not adversity its power… That would be Abraham Lincoln… But you know for everyone that makes a great statement somebody wishes they had never opened their mouth… And you know who it is Peyton Manning… Oh yeah he grew up every year he would talk about that he had a great dream his dream was to throw a touchdown pass for the New Orleans Saints to win the Super Bowl… And boy did he do it… Unfortunately he played for the Colts at the time but I still thank him for that every day…
E. my brothers and sisters in Christ… here you and I sit 2000 years later… How many times does our tongue get us in trouble… Man you were having a great day somebody sends you an email man you can’t wait to respond to this one… It’s a diatribe… The longer the email gets the shorter the words get… and pretty soon you hit that send button hoping that it will knock them out when they read it… If you had just waited oh how do I know… Brothers and sisters in Christ… What if you hadn’t gone to work and spread all that venom because of the traffic or worse spread it across your dinner table when you got home… What if you just ignore the conversation or the person that cut you off in traffic… Or the person that gave you the high sign… My brother sisters in Christ what if he just totally ignored the left handed compliment… my brothers sister in Christ I was in the seminary for a long time… They’re short one basketball player the last guy you want on the team is me… But they can’t even field the team… Unless I play… I decided to play now I don’t know about you but when you’re 40 something and the average age is 20 something I am a big believer in time outs.. lots of them… After the end of the game one of the young guys says you know you don’t sweat much for an old guy… What do I do with that… Therein lies the point… My brothers and sisters in Christ how many times have you gone to confession because we just opened our mouth too quick… How many times have you and I have been so remorseful for that one statement that is now carried on for three days and if we just walked away the last few days would’ve been so peace filled it was unbelievable… My brothers and sisters in Christ what I’m telling you is that when you get so angry and so mad that you got to make sure that you get your 15 minutes you got to have your pound of flesh I promise you I promise you it’ll be the greatest speech that you’ll live to regret…
F. And I’ll leave you with this… As corny as it is it’s so true… You know the tongue has absolutely no bones in it but I have seen it smash many bones and break a lot of hearts… Watch your tongue…
G. Amen

 

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