2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 10:37-42; 6-28-2020 (As Built; Amite #405)

  1. Price, price. As in a price to pay willingly. 
  2. It's the 1880s, and you know in the 1880s 65 to 85 percent of the people lived in the rural country. They lived in the countryside. That's amazing that some 65 percent of the people did in the 1880s, but for Richard, man, it's just what he wants. He prefers to live in that way. As a result of such, he's doing okay. You need to understand Richard though. Richard is the manager of the train depot, and he will tell you that he just loves what he does to a point. He will tell you “If there's anything I can do, I will do.” Can do, does do. Jack of all trades master of none, but that boy got a motor and he can flat run. As a result of it, mail comes in off the train. His job is to collect it and distribute it. His job is to collect and distribute the mail from the towns and the villages and get it on the train. He's responsible, if you will, for telegrams and the telegraph, incoming and outgoing, not to mention he's got the cargo and the boxes that come on the trains, not to mention he's also responsible for lining up the tracks for the train to go on, destinations, times, etc. One day Richard’s taking care of business and all of a sudden he sees this one box. All it's got on it is an address to a store. Being that he's the mailman and persona, if you will, he sees the box, he looks at it, says “I’ll just make this during one of my drops.” He goes through the town. All of a sudden, he comes to the store and he tells the store owner “Look, this box is for you.” He said “No, it's not for me. It's just a scam.” He said “Well, it's good he's got your name on it, it's got the store's name on it anyway, and I mean it's got your address.” He said “Richard, look.” He opens the box and it's glasses. A lot of sunglasses for the most part. He said “I didn't order these. They come from Chicago. They're going to tell you that you can sell them for $14 each, and you can keep the $12, you send $2 to me,” and he says “It's a scam.” he said “I’m not even doing it.” he said “It's just a scam.” He said “Well let me ask you, is it possible that we could sell these sunglasses for $14 and still pay them the $12?” He said “Well, yeah. There's a market for it.” He says “It's glasses, it’s watches, it's a little bit everything.” He said “Well, can I sell the watches for the same thing?” and he said “Yeah, you can, he said “Because people are hooked on time. Different time zones, we travel in different states, people are working longer during the day.” he said “I’m telling you, you can, but Richard there's a price to pay.” and he said “Well, I know it's going to be the difference.” “No, no.” he said “No, I’m not talking economics,” he said “I’m talking you still got a train depot, you still got packages, you still got mail, you still got the telegraph, and now you're going to add this to your plate? I’m going to tell you, you're not going to be home a lot.” So Richard takes the bag. He says “Well, can I take it and start?” He said “It's yours.” He goes back and he starts thinking about how can I distribute these glasses and these watches, and he starts taking sheets of paper, Richard does, and he starts making pictures of them, and then he starts stapling them together. Then, he puts it together in the mail since he's got to distribute the mail, and then when he's distributing, he's starting his own little mini catalog. As a result of it, the numbers are coming in. People are buying glasses, people are buying watches to a point that he needs to get a partner, so Richard goes to a guy named Alva and he tells Alva. He said “Look, I can't fix them, but if you don't fix them I’m only going to have a one-time sale.” Alva says “Okay I’ll fix them.” he said “I’ll tell you what, we'll just split the profits.” He said “Good deal.” First two, three months, five thousand dollars profit, and then here comes the bad news. The people in Chicago are saying “Well, we're going to continue to sell it, but you really need to come here.” so he turns to his brother, Richard does, and said “Here's the bad news, the price we're going to pay to keep doing this because there's only so many sunglasses and watches we can sell in this county, we need to move to Chicago.” Alva said “Man, I’m not moving to Chicago. I’m a country person. I love where I’m at. I’m not moving.” He said “If we don't move, this job is over.” They move. They do the same concept. They start their own catalog. You and I growing up used to get it every Christmas. He told Alva “We'll name the company after you, Roebuck.” He said “No, only if we name it after you Richard. Richard Sears. Sears and Roebuck because somebody was willing to pay the price. 
  3. That is exactly that gospel. The good lord is asking his apostles “Are you willing to pay the price, more than you think, that you're gonna have to love me more than your mom and dad, you're gonna have to love me more than your children, and your children are gonna have to love me more than they love you? Now, that's the price you're gonna have to pay.” Now stop, you're a first century Jew. Matthew is a Jew. He is a tax collector. Matthew’s other name sometimes is Levi. He's very articulate. He is very Jewish. Now remember, as a tax collector, remember this my brothers and sisters in Christ, the Jews don't like you because you're taking money from them. The gentiles don't like you because you're a Jew. The Romans don't like you because you're taking money, but you're adding a tax on top of the money, that's your own tax, and therefore you're probably the wealthiest guy in the whole county, and as a result of this is why Matthew is speaking. Matthew speaks to the Jews a hundred times in his gospel. He talks about what it's like to be in the old testament, so he's gonna assume as a Jew that you understand how he writes. He breaks his gospel up into five categories. One is the call of the apostles. That's what this is. When he calls the apostles, do you ever notice that he only calls Peter first every time and Judas always last? Do you notice that Peter is the only one that had a name change? Kepha in Aramaic, bolder, massive. Remember, he speaks to them in Aramaic, not Greek, which would have meant little boulder. That's why he called him kapha. That's why John refers to him as Kepha. My brothers and sisters in Christ, Peter is the first to anoint. Peter's the first to hold a council. Peter is the first to baptize. Peter's the first to do a miracle. He's the first to defend him. That's why he's protos and dominant. Now, he has called the apostles together. Now remember, you're a good Jew. You know scripture like the back of your hand. You know all about Ezekiel. You know all about Daniel. You know Elijah. You know all the prophets. You know the miracles that they did. Remember, the old testament, Hebrew scripture, is structured in a way where it's always pointing to the coming of Christ. They all do the same types of miracles. The blind see, the lame walk, the dead rise until one guy comes along, and then he says “Your sins are forgiven.” and then he makes reference to himself “I am.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, he has called the apostles together, and you know what's amazing as a Jew? You know the commandments equally well, but you know what you know better than the commandments? You know the shema. That's the ten commandments in our vernacular. The shema would be tied to your wrist in a little box. It'd be a little miniature scroll, and on the scroll it would say “The lord our God is one. We will love him with our whole heart, our whole mind, and our whole soul.” That's the first commandment, so for him to say that you must love me more than your parents, more than your children, and your children should love me more than they love you, he is saying “I am.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, remember back in the story in Matthew. Remember one of the first miracles, A handicap person was paralyzed. They lowered him down in the house, that was Peter's house by tradition, and all of a sudden the good lord comes out and says “Your sins are forgiven, get up and walk.” All the Pharisees are sitting on the inside of the house are saying “Well how can he forgive sins? Only God can.” and the good lord says “Well, so that you will know I am, pick up your mat and walk.” In other words, he's telling the disciples “I’m the one you've waited for. I’m the messiah. As a result of such, your love must be greater than that, and as a result of such you've got to be willing to pay the price, whatever the price may be.” 
  4. My brothers and sisters in Christ, go back in scripture. Everybody that followed Christ pays the price. You know the guy Longinus, the one that stabbed our savior, whether that is his name or not is irrelevant. Longinus means speartip, but for the sake of argument, he spears the good lord. The good lord is already dead, but yet he continues to bleed, which means he's divine. That's why I kiss the altar. That's where his wound would have been. As a result of such, he makes a statement and says these seven or eight words, “Truly, this man was the son of God.” Talk about pay a price for making a proclamation. You are a centurion. You are the head of a legion. You are Pilate’s right-hand man and you just made a proclamation “Truly, this man is the son of God.” which said Pilate, you were not only wrong, you're dead wrong. You Jews that put this up, y'all lied and you're now dead wrong. My brothers and sisters in Christ, he doesn't have employment. He's not going to have a pension plan or a health plan. You know what happens to him? He finally locates the blessed mother and, according to tradition, brings her the spear tip. It's about a foot and a half long. He brings it to her, he leaves what he's doing, he goes to a country called Cappadocia for two years. He lives off of whatever he can get preaching the gospel. He is one of the most dominant preachers in his whole area in Cappadocia, which is Turkey, and you know what's amazing? Pilate sends centurions to go grab him and kill him, and according to tradition when they get to Cappadocia, they have nowhere to stay, so they stay there not recognizing him. He feeds them, takes care of them, and houses them, and then has to tell them “I am Longinus.” As a result, they behead him, and they take the head all the way back to Pilate. A price he paid for making seven short words. Willingly he paid the price. What if you're Joseph of Arimathea? I mean, man, do you know Joseph was a Pharisee? Do you know that he was part of the Sanhedrin? Man, nothing happens until that group heads it up, until they say it's okay. For him to come out and put Christ in his tomb, you know what you just told the rest of the Pharisees, the whole Sanhedrin? Man, y'all were wrong. I told y'all not to do anything. When he put him in his tomb, and they closed that rock, that was the beginning of the end of Joseph of Arimathea. Do you know, according to tradition, Caesar got wind of it. Pilate puts him on a boat to go all the way to Rome, so that you can be held in court. Oh, I bet that's going to be a fair trial. The boat sinks. Another boat's got to pick him up. He ends up going to another country and starts a monastery and dies there. He has to leave his country and his family in order to defend the statement, and the price that he pays is today that monastery is still alive and well. My brothers and sisters in Christ, did you know that when Peter was martyred on that proverbial day, did you know his wife, according to tradition, was martyred as well? My brothers and sisters in Christ, according to the tradition, when they were about to take Peter and turn him upside down, he looked at his wife for she was about to be martyred because she's the wife of Peter. That's the price she will pay. He says “Remember the Lord and go with God.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, there is a price to pay to being a follower of Jesus Christ. There is going to be a price to pay to be a follower of Jesus Christ and to be part of Holy Mother Church. You and I are not getting out of this game free. If they martyred our savior and all of the apostles, even the gospel writers, even the gospel of Mark they drug him to the street until he was dead, even the gospel of Luke he was eventually hung. You and I really think that we're going to end up just going through life like it's a parade route? You and I are going to have to pay the price of being Catholic and being true to Mother Church in our teachings. 
  5. How many times do you need to start proving yourself on small things? How many times when people say let us pray that you make sure the sign of the cross is made clearly and distinctly? How many times when they say let us pray you jump in and say “I will pray.”? How many times when you jump in and pray, you give them the Hail Mary? Oh wait a minute, you don't want to offend them. I mean, because now you're going to have to defend her honor and her veil. That's the price you pay. Are you going to say “Well, I just didn't want to hurt their feelings, but I have no problem disparaging hers.”? Will you not make the sign of the cross because you don't want to hurt their feelings, but you have no problem hurting his? My brothers and sisters in Christ, there's a price to be payed for being Catholic in the world today, and it's going to be coming sooner than you and I think. The fact the matter is how good are you at sticking to your guns. My brothers and sisters in Christ, when you continue to go to the sacrament of confession, the sacrament of confession is scriptural; it was in existence before the coming of Christ. Leviticus 5 and 6. Hebrews 5 in the new testament. I will choose priests among men for the forgiveness of sins. No one, no one should take it upon themselves, but how many times do I hear people say “Oh, I just go to the good lord.”? Well so did I back in the day. I mean, heck, I’m a pretty good guy. I haven't killed anybody, more importantly it wasn't my fault. It was y'alls. It's easy to get forgiveness when you're judge, jury, and executioner. My brothers and sisters in Christ, are you willing to go to the sacraments when everybody else tells you not to? Are you willing to go to mass in an arena when everybody else says “I’d rather watch it on television, that way I can watch it while I’m having coffee. I can have a snack. I can watch it in my pajamas.”? The messiah of the world comes at mass. Heaven and earth touch, and you're telling me it's more important that I watch it instead of be present? My brothers and sisters in Christ, that's fallen, and be careful we don't fall much more. I do understand there are precautions in the wind and I get that, but at some point the Eucharist is the Eucharist and “In that little host all the solutions of the world will reside”. John Paul II.  My brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m asking you to stick to your guns. I’m asking you to do what is necessary to make sure that you finish and pay the price. When that person calls you, and you're so tired of talking to them because you end up in the same circle, I mean you start one hour and the next hour you're in the same spot, will you take the phone call instead of watching the television, or make an excuse why you can't? Are you a good Catholic Christian, or are you not? Would Christ walk away? What if the apostles had walked away? Are you willing when somebody says “pray for me”, when you say the words “I will pray for you” are you being truthful, or are you just giving them rhetoric? My brothers and sisters in Christ, when you tell somebody you're going to pray for them, you must pray for them, and especially for those that do not like you. Matthew would tell you it's easy to pray for other tax collectors for I was one. The question you gotta ask yourself, will you pray for those that have disdain by the mere mention of your name causes them to spit? Will you pray for them because if you're not, no one is. I’m asking you to persevere. I’m asking you to dig in and dig hard because at the end of the day, if you get to the gates, and you do not recognize anybody on the other side of that gate, you're at the wrong gate. You're headed to hell because they're disembodied. They look like animals. If you have no friends in heaven, you're at the wrong gate. There's nothing I can do for you. If you and I do not learn to persevere and pay the price, I promise you we will pay even a greater price.My brothers and sisters in Christ, you make that Sign of the Cross, you pray the Hail Mary. If you don't know how to defend the church, then go learn it. Stop blaming Mother Church. You do what you got to do. Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Jesus Christ. You gotta do what you gotta do. It's a priority. We got one job, one job only. It’s to make it to heaven. I do not care about your profession, your job, your camp, your income, your health plan, I don't care. The only thing that matters is did you or did you not make heaven. Yes or no. Pay the price. 
  6. I’ll leave you with this. My brothers and sisters in Christ, there will be a price to speaking the truth. There will be a price to speak the truth, but there will be even a greater price not to act on it. Pay it forward. Pay it in advance. Pay it fully. Pay the price. 
  7. Amen.

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