2017 Homilies (Written)


Matthew 10:26-33; 6-21-2020 (As Built; Amite #404)


  1. Worry, worry. 
  2. The year is 1970. His name is Gavin. Gavin lives in Benton, Illinois. His mom and dad own a newspaper, kind of like the Benton Daily News. They do okay. They make ends meet. As a result of it, you know he'll tell you, if you were to ask Gavin, you'd ask him how was high school he said “Well, it was okay. Kind of like grammar school,” he said “but I was a good athlete. I loved, loved baseball and football. Actually, being as modest as I can be, I was pretty good at it.” His dad will tell him in his senior year “Son, I know, I know you think you're good at baseball and football, and you're kind of the bee's knees, if you will, but the truth the matter is you just like how you look when you play baseball and football. You really ought to try something else.” To appease his dad, he gets in a high school play called the Carousel, and I got to tell you Gavin does pretty well. In other words, he gets recognized enough. He gets a scholarship to Illinois State. He goes up there, does pretty well, and then realizes, man, that my desire is not school, per se, as it is I want to be onstage. I want to be in Broadway. Gavin goes to New York, DC, Chicago. He gets the lead in Death of a Salesman. Gavin nailed it. As a matter of fact, he actually became pretty popular. As a result, it was getting harder and harder for him to leave DC, or New York, or Chicago, but he wants the money, and if you want the money, man, it's LA. That's where you need to be. He heads out, gets in a movie, and one of the movies is called In My Heart. After he does that one, he does another one call In a Wedding. I can see it was a huge hit. As a result, man, he is starving to death. As a matter of fact, he'll tell you “I really never got worried about making ends meet or having something to eat till you can't make ends meet and you have nothing to eat.” He said “Man, I became a part-time painter. I started doing a little construction work. I did a little landscaping. But then, I found the best job for me.” he said “I worked in a Chinese restaurant making egg rolls.” When you figure out who this guy is, I would like to know your first impression when you pick your head up and you see that guy made your egg rolls. If you do not get up and scream running out the restaurant, God bless you. He's doing the best he can, and then somebody notices him because he's still doing little big parts, and they said “You know what, you would make a great bad guy.” He said “Gavin, you you just got the look. You got the mannerisms. You, you just need, you just need to be a bad guy.” He gets in the movie Dangerous Liaisons, and as a result of it, man. people start to notice. And then he gets it another one called Rounders, where he plays a Russian, and he's big into cards, and working with the mob. Then, he gets in another movie called Up Behind the Iron Mask. He doesn't play a bad guy, he plays a musketeer, but he plays the musketeer with the edge on him. And then, all of a sudden, man, things start to open up. It was called In the Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood. He's trying to assassinate the president. Okay, look, I only memorize so many of these things my brothers and sisters in Christ. He was in the movie Red 1 & 2. He was in the movie Conair, where he plays Cyrus the virus. Ok brothers and sisters in Christ, look. It's a real simple world. He's the lead guy in the story about John Malkovich. He's John Malkovich, my brothers and sisters in Christ. Ok, go home and look him up. That's the whole point. The point in the matter is he says “One point in my life,” he'll tell you “I was so worried about anything and everything,” he said “I couldn't- I didn't even know how to function.” and they said “Well, you must have done something right. You had to lose 70 pounds, 70 pounds to do this one job in Conair. How did, how did you do it?” he said “Well, I guess I just stopped worrying and I ate Jell-O. That's all I ate for four months” and the guy said “You ate Jell-O for four months to lose 70 pounds?” he said “That's right, but you’ve got to admit, there's different colors.” Look up John Malkovich, trust me, it'll sell much better later. My brothers and sisters in Christ, it was his ability to get over worry. 
  3. That is exactly what that gospel is about. Imagine the good Lord comes to you. He pulls you to the side. He puts his arm around you, and he begins to whisper in your ear. What I whispered to you now, I want you to scream to the rooftops. What I tell you in this darkness, I want you to spread to the light. I want you to tell all my children. I beg of you to stop the worry. Is it not true that two sparrows all belong to me, that not one of the two can fall to the ground? Are you not worth more than two sparrows and a few coins? My brothers and sisters in Christ, he's telling you and I “It's got to stop, the worry that you have brought to the world. Did I not know you in your mother's womb? Did I not create you? Did I not know your name? Am I not the God of economics in the world of supply and demand? And yet, you come and you worry as if I have no say. You've taken counsel with the evil one, and then you wonder where I've gone. I'm with you for all times and I will be with you to the very end. I will never leave you orphans.” Now stop, you’re a first century Jew. You need to make sure you understand when that gospel took place. Matthew is a tax collector. He is a very bright man. Some call him Levi. He is not liked by the Jews or the Gentiles because why? He collects their money. Even Rome doesn't like him because he collects money on top of money. As a result of it, for him to become a follower of Christ, he is speaking to groups of people who know the Old Testament, who are Jewish by descent. He will quote the Old Testament if they had their books over 100 times. He has just gathered all the apostles to himself. Christ says, and remember this, Christ always starts the name of the Apostles with Peter, Cephas in Aramaic. The first apostle quote is Peter, Protos in Greek. He is dominant. He is first, Judas is always last. there are no coincidences. Peter will be the first to preach the gospel. Peter will be the first to baptize. Peter will be the first to hold the council. Peter will be the first to cure, the blind will see, the lame will walk, and the dead will rise. Peter is the first vicar. He has just made Peter the vicar, he's called all 12 together, and he has told them “I do not want you to take a walking stick. I don't want you to carry extra sandals. I don't want you to carry a money sack. You will carry no money belt. you'll not even carry an extra tunic. You will go from town to town. When you enter that town, you will only stay at one place. If they accept you, you bless that house. If they do not accept the blessing, the blessing comes back on you.” Remember that when you pray for somebody and they dismiss you. That blessing comes back to you, two fold. He is telling them that you will be persecuted, but I will promise you, not a hair on your head will be touched until I ordained it not one issue will come your way until I bless it. Not one issue or concern will cross your plate until I have said “It will be so.” and until that happens, your job is to preach, and not worry. 
  4. My brothers and sisters in Christ, go back in Scripture. The good Lord waits four days for Lazarus to die. Why? Because the Jews believe you can resuscitate after the third day. This is why the good Lord doesn't rise till the third day, because the Jews believe you can resuscitate. As a result, he waits four days for Lazarus. They even send word to him, Martha and Mary, telling him “Man, our brother's sick. Come.” He tells the Apostles “Lazarus will soon be asleep.” and they think “Well then, why we going? What's the hurry? We can go any time.” and the finally the good Lord says “No, so you understand, Thomas, he's dead. To you he’s dead. To me he’s asleep.” You know what's amazing, Thomas is the one that says “Lord, I'll go back with you. You're probably going to be killed and I will go with you.” but you know no one ever remembers that statement. And now they go back. He's waited four days. What's the first thing out of Martha and Mary's mouth? “Lord, Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn't have died. Where have you been? I have sent word for you.” “Martha, Mary, I'm the way. I'm the truth. I'm the life. You've seen it. The blind see, the lame walk, the dead rise, and now I come and you don't trust me? You've worried for four days that I can do nothing. Did I not create the world by mere thought? Did I not create you in your mother's womb? Did it not save you from your lives and your troubles? And now I come and I hear ‘Lord if you'd been here, my brother would not have died.’ You have no faith. You don't trust me. You don't believe me, do you, because you've worried and that's from the evil one.” They make them take him to the tomb. He's been to that tomb, my brothers and sisters in Christ. He's been to Lazarus’s house every year for three years. He knows exactly where the tomb is, and when you ask yourself “Why is he upset about going to Lazarus house?” because as Jews, you have professional criers that you pay money and they cry on demand. Therefore, they're crying to make you feel better about the passing of your brother. That's why he's perturbed, because you didn't have enough faith in me that you even spent money on professional criers. I've only been gone four days, not 40, not 40 years. “Lazarus, come out.” The miracle behind the miracle is Lazarus comes out, and the way they would bury you and I back in the day, our hands and our feet would be bound and a mask would be put over our face. We couldn't walk out if that's all we had to do. The fact that Lazarus comes out bound hand and foot, it's the second miracle. My brothers and sisters in Christ, Martha and Mary fell victim to doubt and worry, so did Peter. “Lord, do you care? We're about to perish. You're sleeping in the bow. Do something. Do anything.” He's got to stand up and rebuke the wind. It has to have something intrinsically evil in it, or he wouldn't rebuke an inanimate object, but the fact that matter is, the first time I was with you Peter, I'm standing within feet. The next time, Peter, I'm sleeping in the bow. The next time I come to you Peter, Oh, you're gonna have to worry because I'm gonna be fifty feet off the starboard side, and you're gonna have to walk on water to get to me. Will the doubt overcome you? Will you have worries then Peter? What about when you don't see me for three days? What about when he fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish? Remember, a Jew only counts the men, so there must have been 10000 men and women 15000 men women and children with five loaves of bread and two fish. Twelve wicker baskets full when they were through, and remember this. The good Lord knows he's leaving in three years, so he feeds only the twelve, and then the twelve go feed you so that I can feed you through his hand. 
  5. That's the point, and as the good Lord is saying, If I can do all of these things, why is it you're consumed with worry? How much of your day, My brothers and sisters in Christ, is spent in worry? How much of yesterday has bled into today? How much of tomorrow is bleeding into today? How much of your day, in minutes, in seconds, in hours, do you spend in worry? Don't you understand? The evil one is after you. He hates you. He hates your name. He hates your children. He hates you, and he will go to the end of the world to rob you of your peace. If he can get you to worry about the doctor's visit, the tests, the job, the bills, the mortgage, the contracts, the cash flow, whether the virus is coming or going, or it's the plague, or it is not, I've got to worry about what the government's going to do, or not going to do, who's going to be elected, what about these riots, what about these protests. My God, Lord, when are you gonna do something? When you and I find our knees, that is how we get to him. The problem is you and I are so consumed with worry as if somehow another the good Lord has just walked away. Remember, you and I took him out of the boardroom. You and I took him out of the classroom. We took him out of the conference room. We can't even pray in public, God forbid we make the sign of the Cross. We got to pray a mass in an arena, and you're telling me we're following his way? My brothers and sisters in Christ, CK Chesterton wrote a book, and he wrote a book about the evil one, and in the book Lucifer is talking to his son. He said “Son, there's these people in Amite. They will be meeting at a mass. They will be at the arena. Let me explain how you get them.” “Don't worry, dad, I got it. I'm gonna get this group right here with pride. I'm gonna get this group here in the middle with anger. I'm gonna get that group on the back with gluttony. I'm gonna get all those in the stands with lust. I'm gonna get half this group with avarice. I'm gonna get the other half with sloth and envy. Don't worry, dad, I got them.” “Son, can you be so ignorant? All you've got to do is steal their peace, give them worry, and they'll destroy the world all by themselves. They will turn on themselves and they will turn on you and I. They will turn even on the good Lord Himself. My brothers and sisters in Christ, how long are you gonna spend your days in worry? How many times are you gonna have that conversation over, and over, and over again, until you just can't take it anymore. Your family can't take the conversation anymore. Is he the God of the living or not? Is he the great I am or he is not? My brothers and sisters in Christ, I am begging you to stop the worry. You must either pray more, and if your prayers are not being heard, you're gonna have to fast more, and if your fasting is not working, you're gonna have to abstain more. You're gonna have to offer sacrifice if you feel your prayers are not being heard. This is what makes the mass so powerful, is that you and I are offered a sacrifice. If you and I just came here and read scripture and prayed, it would not be enough to overturn the evil one. I'm asking you, I am begging you, that you need to work harder and cutting out the worry. You are the gatekeeper. I hear it all the time. “Father if you would just, for the love of God, it's worry. I just can't stop it. I worry about this, I worry about that, I have this conversation, I have that, I'm praying, he doesn't hear me, he's not answering, I don't think he's there, I'm not really sure.” Stop. Stop. Be still and know that He is God and we are not, that this is his house, and do not take it back when you leave. When you walk out those gates, you leave it here, and you work at leaving it here.
  6. I leave you with this, he loves you to the point that he sent His only Son for the sacrifice of many. I promise you I knew your name and your mother's womb. I allowed you to be born. I have allowed everything to come your way. I only ask is that you pray to me, and my will be done. Worries.
  7. Amen.



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