2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 5:17-37; 2-16-2020 (As Built; Amite #386)
 
A. Last penny… you owe one last penny… 
B. It’s the 1900’s… Hang in there… It’s just a story… His name is James Woodward… James is a Tennessee boy… As a matter of fact… if you ask James where you from he would tell you I am from the great state of Tennessee… … I’m from Nashville… He would tell you he was probably the biggest food magnet in the early 1900’s… I mean he is the super Walmart of his day… It’s the early 1900’s… His acreage just for his distribution centers is unconscionable… He has a warehouse that does nothing but distribution… He has a warehouse that is nothing but overhead… personal… He’s got a warehouse for marketing… He’s got a warehouse just for freight… He’s got a warehouse just for wrapping… He’s got a warehouse just for oops… Man my brothers and sisters in Christ… every Monday him and his superintendent walk the grounds… it takes hours… They have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of acres of warehouse…  He gets to that one last warehouse of oops… He stands there in front of it and he tells the superintendent open the door… Superintendent looks up and thinks we do this every Monday… He opens this door and about the size of this opening… is the size of the mound of these granules… and there’s hundreds of them… this tall… literately… throughout you can’t see the back of the warehouse… and he just stands in front of it and looks at it… And the superintendent says Mr. Woodward we do this every Monday… You stand in front of this oops and you lament the fact that we have this… He says I’ll sell it to you for $35… take them all… take everything… He said Mr. Woodward… I don’t even know what it is… I don’t want it… He said $25 and I’ll throw in the warehouse… he said I don’t want it… He said I am gonna spend my last penny… but I am gonna get rid of this… I don’t care what we do… He said well how did it ever get started Mr. Woodward… Well my parents were manufacturers of cough syrup… He said and I came up with these ideas to change the flavor… we could make it lemon we can make it cherry… we can make it this and we can make people take it… Man our business took off… And he says and then my mom and dad came up with an idea… about selling snacks… and then we could change the color… The problem is I’ve had this for two decades… every Monday… He said I can’t take it anymore… He said we tried everything… I went and got different spokespeople… I had Lucille Ball… it tanked… I got the early part of Johnny Carson… it went south… He said why don’t we close up the warehouse and you never look at it again… He said no I need to get rid of it… I’m telling you my last penny we will spend to get this… He said look if your that desperate we will come up with a slogan… we’ll put it out there… and if we don’t get the right spokesperson I’ll burn the whole building down… He said fair enough… They came up with the slogan… you can’t be a kid without it… yep that was the slogan… obviously it didn’t do well either… Then they get Bill Cosby to promote it… Jell-O my brothers and sisters in Christ…  They had Jell-O… they never knew it until way late in the game… and he almost went broke promoting it and finally got it sold… 
C. My brothers and sisters in Christ that’s the gospel… That’s the point… My brothers and sisters in Christ He’s telling them… I am gonna turn you over to the jailor… The jailor is gonna turn you over to the guard and the guard is gonna throw you in prison and your not getting out until you pay the last penny… Now stop… stop… you’re a Jew… You know Aramaic like the back of your hand… You also know Greek… You know Hebrew Scripture… You know the book of Psalms by heart… whenever they use the word prison you automatically now know as a Jew He’s only talking about one place… Now stop… if you’re a Jew this is what you know… You know heaven has three levels… You know that there is the sky… you know that there is the stars in the sky and then above that is the pearly gates… that’s what you know as a Jew… You know that hell has three levels… It has the place itself… it has the pit of fire… and then it has below the pit of fire… And you also know as a Jew not only the three levels of heaven and hell you know that there are three abodes three places before the gates of heaven are opened when the Messiah comes… Because remember you and I don’t believe Christ is the Messiah… We believe that there are three abodes… Abrahams bosom… If you die before Christ opens the gates… or the Messiah then you have to be somewhere… You can’t be in heaven waiting for Him… only He can open the gates… So you’re in Abraham’s bosom… the garden of paradise… the garden of eden… This is why the good thief says remember me this day… and the good Lord says you will be with Me in paradise… I haven’t opened the gates yet… You will wait for Me in the garden of eden… the garden of paradise… Abraham’s bosom… You also believe there is Gehenna… there’s a hell… and you believe there’s a purgatory… oh yes my brothers and sisters in Christ… oh let me guess… you have decided since you can not find an English word in a book written in Greek… I’m just saying… That’s what you tell me when I hand you a bible… Father tell me where the word purgatory is… The books written in Greek… What are you looking for… You’ve got to look for the understanding…. You’ve got to read it as a Jew… Christ is a Jew… born of a Jewish mother… In the city of all Jews David… He’s circumcised under Jewish law… He’s found in a temple… a synagogue… He’s crucified under Jewish law… The boys a Jew… so when He speaks to you and I 2000 years later He’s still speaking as a Jew… Your gonna thank God in heaven that there is a purgatory… there is a heavens hospital… why… because listen to what He told him… I’m gonna turn you over to the jailor on your judgement day… And he’s gonna throw you in jail and I’m not letting you out of that prison until you pay the last penny… What’s the prison… heaven… can’t be… that’s not a prison… Can’t be hell because your never being let out… where are you gonna be until you pay the last penny… Remember the book of Revelation chapter 21… You will not enter My kingdom until you are perfectly clean…  My brothers and sisters in Christ… even the most devout Jews… even Paul who was Saul… believed that there would be a place that he would have go if he died and had sin on his soul… My brothers and sisters in Christ… listen to me… do you think that you can just proclaim the name Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior… Spell His name and come on down… where you been… You spelled My name and proclaimed the gospel… you’ve excepted Me as your Lord and Savior… yeah I know you kept breaking the commandments… you kept sleeping around… you weren’t helping the Church… you kept slandering and gossiping people...  but you got My name right… get on in here… My brothers and sisters in Christ… you just made a mockery of the ten commandments… you just made them sticky notes… suggestions… guidelines… You just heard Ben Sirach tell the Jews you better know the ten… Why does the good Lord in St. John’s gospel make the statement… That if you say that you know Me and you love Me than you’ll keep My commandments… If you say you know Me and you love Me and you do not know the ten commandments you are a liar… His words not mine… My brothers and sisters in Christ… how hard is it… Love God with your whole heart mind and soul… Don’t use His name in vain… Keep holy the Lord’s day… Honor your mother and father… Don’t murder… Don’t be adulterous… Don’t steal… Bare false witness… Covet thy neighbor’s goods… and spouse… wow that took twenty seconds… Anyone of those will keep you from going to the kingdom of God… You actually think that you can spell His name and listen to what He says… You do not know the commandments or you teach somebody else not to follow them your gonna go to Gehenna… 
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ… When I was a Protestant… I would preach to the hills that if you do not except Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior your not gonna be saved until you proclaim it… Matthew 7… Not everyone who yells My name will enter My kingdom but only those who do the will of My father… St. Paul to the Philippians chapter 2…  every knee must bend in heaven on earth and under the earth… You bend a knee in heaven because you are before the throne of God… you bend a knee on earth because you want to be before the throne of God… nobody bends a knee in hell… if you had you wouldn’t be in there to begin with…  You know where Padre Pio says purgatory is… under the earth… he says hell is in the center of the earth… Now do you understand where Christ is going with it… as a devout Jew… I’m not letting you out of prison until you pay the last penny… There’s only one place He could be talking about sending you… Your gonna thank God and so will I that there is such a place as purgatory… because at the end of the day my brothers and sisters in Christ we’re all gonna die with something on our soul… This is why Christ is so adamant… You heard it said this… but I meant this… You Jews have 600 rules… Catholics only have 10… You said this… but I’m telling you this… You said this… but I’m telling you there’s more to it than this… you said that you shouldn’t be prideful… I’m saying that you need to be more humble… You said you shouldn’t be angry… and I’m saying you need to be in more control… You said not to be gluttonous…  and I’m saying you need to learn how to fast… You said not to be slothful… and I’m saying you need to learn to be disciplined… You said you can’t worship God and money… and I’m telling you there’s only one God… You can’t do both… or play baseball… or football… or duck hunt… or deer… and miss My holy day… there’s only one God… I’m only in the Church… My brothers and sisters in Christ… I told you not to be lazy… but I’ll tell you this you better have more discipline than that… 
E. My brothers and sisters in Christ… The reason the good Lord gave us this because you and I are not gonna die walking out that confessional… thank God… If you do die coming out of the confessional can you close the door right before you go so I don’t get caught up in that debacle… The fact of the matter is… on the day of your judgement… and don’t you ever forget this… the second you and I die… the very nanosecond… while everybody is lamenting and whaling and crying and understandably so… we’re in front of Him… naked and alone… they’ll be no more discussions… no debates… no arbitrations… no mediation… no excuses… Did you keep My commandments… and His gonna walk every one of us through them…  and He’s gonna go back to our last confession… when was it… a year ago… wow is our judgement gonna be long and harsh… was it last week… was it last month… oh I forgot… we believe we can go directly to the big guy… really… you baptize yourself… oh you married yourself.. oh you confirmed yourself.. My brothers and sisters in Christ… even the good Lord didn’t baptize anybody… He never heard one confession… How is it that we can presuppose His words and assume that we can go directly to Him… I liked when I was a Protestant… going directly to Him… I was very understanding… and it was always the woman’s fault… I’m just saying… but you know what’s amazing my brothers and sisters in Christ… If I was really sorry about it then why do I keep committing the same sin over and over and over again… and make a mockery of the sacrament and a mockery of the commandment… My brothers and sisters in Christ… This is why I want you to do a funeral Mass for when people pass away… Your praying for them… We’re four days late… If we die today we don’t get buried for 3 or 4 days… we’re done… we’ve had our judgement and we’ve already been placed…  We need to pray a Mass… remember we need to pray the rosary… Sometimes we don’t even want to pray the rosary for people who have already been gone… what a fool’s bet… 30 rosaries prayed by your family is 30 rosaries that just went into your coffers… You and I die today… We have a funeral four days later… Christ is eternal in time… He’s over time… therefore when we pray 4 days later knowing that we were gonna pray 4 days later He will credit those against the day of our death and our judgement…  Please… I’m begging you have a Mass said for those who have gone before us… Do not presuppose on His mercy… We are not God… How many funerals have you gone to in the last few years… and I want someone to show me a set of hands… show me your courage… you walked into that funeral and they said… this guy didn’t make it… or did you hear their in a better place… every funeral I go to… every funeral even before I was a priest… everybody is in a better spot… But His book tells me that the gates of heaven are this big and the gates to hell are this big… I went to a funeral for a friend of mine… I’ve been knowing him my whole life… I still pray for him… The reverend stood up and said oh he’s in a better place… I’m thinking that can’t be I know that guy… I pray for him every day… I pray for the reverend that made the wrong proclamation… My brothers and sisters in Christ… do me a favor… and I don’t want you to forget this part either… you the day that I die… don’t say he’s in a better spot… because if you do… I’m going to haunt you till it’s your day to come on my side… I am going to sing to you every night…  99 bottles of beer on the wall until we come to the end… 
F. My brothers and sisters in Christ… whether you believe it or not… it’s like believing in gravity… you don’t want to believe in gravity don’t believe… Were gonna be thanking God that there is such a place called purgatory or heaven’s hospital… Look at it this way… It’s fire insurance… 
G. Amen… 
 

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