2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 13:1-23; 7-12-2020 (As Built; Amite #407)

 

  1. Weeds or wheat, weeds or wheat. 
  2. My brothers and sisters in Christ, it's about the 1950s, 1960s. His name is Gerard, and Gerard is a can-do, does do type of guy. He is New York City in and out. He loves the big city. Man, if you were to ask him he will tell you New York is in the very essence in the marrow of his bones. He will tell you that he will do anything to stay in the big city. He actually will tell you that “Not only I want to be part of the big city, I want to be part of the big tent.” And you might assume that he's talking about movies, television, radios, and he probably is to an extent, but his desire is that he wants to be the best trapeze artist the world has ever seen. He actually wants to be in the circus. He wants to be in the main tent. As a matter of fact, My brothers and sisters in Christ, he's so devout about wanting to do this, he's decided to pick up his family and move all the way to Australia. He gets to Australia and he's getting his opportunity, but let's be honest, you don't start at the big tent right away, so he's doing little odd and in jobs. He does okay with it, but at the end of the day there's other issues. There's a lack of money, so he's decided I'm gonna do whatever I got to do. He starts working in the docks at night, that way could subsidize his income and his family, and then all of a sudden, man, he gets a paycheck and he's going home one night. Five gentleman catching going home and say they want his money. He tells him not only no, but heck no. I see, where's your mind brothers and sisters in Christ? As a result of it, man, it turns into a brouhaha. It turns into a melee. They beat him, Gerard, like there's no tomorrow. When it was all said and done, five on one, not only did they break his eyes to such an extent that it was coming loose of the socket, they broke his nose so bad that if it wouldn’t have been for the skin I'm not sure they could have located it. They gave him a concussion, they knock every tooth out of his head, they broke both his arms, they broke both his legs, my brothers and sisters in Christ, when the police showed up they called the morgue. They didn't call the hospital. They actually put him in the hearse and the guy that put him in says “I think I heard something.” He goes back and he's got a little voice left in him. They immediately get him to the hospital. One year, not a weekend, not a couple of days, God forbid outpatient, you're in and out in 24 hours and that's not enough. One year he's in the hospital. They finally put him back together. He is so hideous looking that they actually make a movie about him later in life called the Man With no Face. The Man with No Face. Big hint, big hint. As a result of it, man, he's decided that as Catholic as he is, he's going to go to church. They'll probably think Satan would have entered when they see him. He sits in a pew contemplating whether it's time to take his life. Tell me the good Lord doesn't work as he works. A priest came in wearing his clerics, easy to recognize. He sees this man crying in a pew, and when he sees his face he tries not to make that sudden jerk back. He sits next to him and says “Talk to me.” he said “There's nothing to say,” he said “I think I'm gonna take my life.” He said “You're getting confused with the weeds and the wheat. There's work for you, and we can make it happen.” He asked him “What can be done about it?” He said “Give me a chance to get one doctor just to help you with your look, and one dentist. If what I've done is failure, then you can romp in the weeds all you want.” “Fair enough.” He finds the surgeon, he finds the dentist, puts him back together again. He starts to work again at the circus and finds out that, man, the next thing you know he's a pretty handsome guy. Pretty soon he starts getting big parts in this and that. Next thing you know, my brothers and sisters in Christ, He's even producing movies like Heartbreak Ridge, The Passion of Christ, he's the star in Lethal Weapon, the enormous Mel Gerard Gibson all because somebody took the time to explain the difference between the weeds and the wheat. 
  3. That is that gospel. My brothers and sisters in Christ, how well did you listen? Did you hear our Savior say you have ears what you do not hear, or worse you do not listen. You have eyes but you do not see. Gross is your heart. Now stop, your a first century Jew, and now you understand the dynamic. You understand that Isaiah is the Prophet, and for this guy to quote Isaiah he is either equal to or better than because everybody in the New Testament has to be greater than that of the old. The good Lord does everything Isaiah does. The blind see, the lame walk, the dead rise, he prophesizes, and he also forgives sins, so for him to do that you and I as a Jew would have taken a step back saying “Man, he's quoting Isaiah.” Now remember, my brothers and sisters in Christ, you need to remember this too, he said for those who hear and listen, and for those who see he said you will grow thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold. If you got 10 fold in scripture, that was miraculous. If you were 7 fold in scripture, that was called profound, so for you to get 30 or 60 or 100 tells you how profound it is if you listen and you see. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I need you to understand that there were four different options. First it fell on a path, next it fell on rocky ground, then you found out that it fell into thorns, and then fell, brothers and sisters in Christ, that it fell on rich soil. 1 out of 4 understand it. Nothing's changed today. Only 1 out of 4, twenty-five percent of the people are following through with our faith. Look around you. It's too hot, it's to this, it's to that. I will remind you that Christ, his masses once he started proclaiming the mass and the Apostles, we're either prayed on a mountainside, in the cemetery below ground, or sneaking between people's houses. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you need to understand that 1 out of 25. How is it, my brothers and sisters Christ, every funeral I go to, every funeral whether I'm a priest or not, when I'm participating or not, everybody's in a better spot. Everybody? I had a dear friend. I went, I was a priest as I am now. I wasn't a speaker, another Reverend was speaking. I went because I knew my brother that has passed is in trouble, and I needed to offer a mass for him. The Reverend stood up and said “He's in a better spot.” I remember thinking “I'm in the wrong room. There is no way my boy made it. I know him. I know his ways, and the way he went about the world.” Therein lies the point. 
  4. My brothers and sisters in Christ, go back in Scripture. While you're going back in Scripture, ask yourself this one question. Where do you sit? Are you on the path because it's going to sprout just because it's on good decent ground, but it's very shallow? Are you going to be in the middle of the thorns where the world will choke it off with money and power and prestige and anxiety? Maybe, brothers and sisters in Christ, it's on rocky soil that is not going to last any longer than the day. The first time frustration comes into your life, the first time somebody pushes back, you're going to fold your tent and go away. Have you taken the time to put forth the effort to make sure that you now have planted your seed among the wheat? 75% are planning there's among the weeds. That's the problem. Look, go back in Scripture. If there's ever one time where the good Lord is trying to get people to think, go back to the story. Remember when the woman is being caught in prostitution, you ever noticed the man's never caught? I mean, he was involved. I'm just saying. You know what it's like being a priest? You're like Switzerland. You're not on either side, but it sure is good just to throw rocks just cuz you can. My brothers and sisters in Christ, in that story the scribes and Pharisees come up and say “We found a woman in prostitution.” Now, what you're not being told is where this argument takes place, within earshot of a Centurion near the Roman Court. And why is that important? Because nobody can kill anybody until that Centurion gets it blessed by the authorities, so the Pharisee, or the Sadducees if you will, the scribe is saying “Lord, according to Jewish faith we are to stone her. What do you say?” In other words, you say stone them and the Centurion is going to have an argument. You say not the stone her then we're going to have an argument. In other words, nobody is stopping to think. In other words, they're trying to pull you into the weeds, so the good Lord begins to talk to them, and then as he's talking to him, he gently gets down on his knees and he starts to take his finger, and I don't believe he wrote the sin into the ground because then he would look at you and then he would look at me and then he'd make the symbol of the sin that way you and I knew exactly who he was talking to, and some just stood there. He stands back up and he says “You without the first sin throw the first stone.” Nobody's moving, nobody's decided what they're going to do. The good Lord is trying to pull him to the wheat and get out of the weeds. They're not listening, and he gets back down on his knees again and begins to write as they begin to drop their rocks and walk away, and pretty soon nobody is there to make the argument. You know why he waited till everybody left? Because according to the Jewish law and to the Roman law two or three are gathered in my name. You got to have two witnesses to stone anybody, or to have any argument. Now, you have no argument. You have no witnesses, so the Centurion can go about his business and you can go back and study the law that you profoundly gave to me. He's trying to get people out of the weeds and into the wheat. 
  5. Well, now here you and I sit 2000 years later. What path are you on, brothers and sisters in Christ? Let me ask you. Are you and the weeds or the wheat? Are you own the one path that you planted your soil, and you planted that seed deep? Let me ask you, if we're only talking about our faith as Catholic Christians, for you to be able to say you're on the right path and that it was planted in deep soil means you know the ten commandments first and foremost in order. That's why he wrote them that way. That's why the first three deal with our relationship with Christ, and the next six, if you will, the next seven deal with our relationship with one another, and that there's only one commandment that's contingent and that's the fourth. Honor your mother and father and you'll live a long life in the land that I've given you. Dishonor them and your life will be tumultuous. If you do not know the commandments, in the words of St. John, if you say you love me but do not know my Commandments, his words not mine, you're a liar, so if you're on the right path then you already know the commandments. If you're on the right path, can you defend the honor of the Blessed Mother as being ever-virgin? How long have you been Catholic? Can you defend the concept of purgatory, or confession, or the seven sacraments, or that you need to have a covenantal relationship with Jesus Christ far greater than a personal relationship. Christ is also divine. We need to consume the Eucharist because we were made in His image. Therefore. our relationship needs to be covenential. Are you willing to defend the faith? How much have you studied our faith? Do you only study it when I come up here and yell and scream for every 10 minutes? My brothers and sisters in Christ, it's a way of life. What about at work, are you willing to make sure that you do what you do to plant the good seed of Jesus Christ? When you go to work and everybody else has lost their minds, when everybody else only calls your name when they need help, your phone is the only phone that rings when things go south, are you willing to pick up that phone, Simon, and answer it because you want to make sure that the seeds were planted are that of Jesus Christ and that the seeds will produce wheat? When you get that email or that text message, or you get home, are you going to make sure that you cultivate the wheat and not the weeds? My brother in Christ, every day you and I should take counsel and ask ourselves very simply did I produce more weeds or more wheat? Did I bring people that were lost to the wheat, or did I leave them in the weeds, or did I plant weeds around them in regards to our faith and not being able to explain it, or take time to study it? I'm only relying  just on Sundays to get my fill. We spent all week putting knots in a rope and we think one hour on Sunday is going to remove it? My brothers and sisters in Christ, that's what Paul was talking about. That's why Isaiah has come. That's why the good Lord says “Man, are you listening with your ears? Are you watching me with your eyes?” If I were to watch you all day, whether you say nothing or not if I watched you would at the end of the day I say now that was a disciple of Jesus Christ? When I walk up to you at the end of the day and say “My child, God bless you for being my disciple on this earth. I will welcome you home to the table all of my children, or will I say depart from me for I don't know you? Yeah, you spelled my name, and you judged me, you condemned my priests you cursed them in darkness and I will shed light.” I got on emails and Facebook and I gave people the business. My brothers and sisters in Christ, every action that you and I take, every thought, we're gonna stand before him and be accountable. Every thought, every action, it's either gonna produce wheat or be thrown into the weeds. 
  6. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I'll leave you with this. At the end of the day, this is what you and I believe as Catholic Christians and as descendants of the Jews. Jeremiah made the argument that the good Lord will either write your name in the earth or he'll either write it in the book of life. That's why he's bending down to write their sins, he's telling them that if you keep going I'm not only going to write your sin in the earth, I'ma write your name. That's why we don't know the name of the rich man and Lazarus when that incident took place, because his name's not in the book of life. It was written in the earth. Ask yourself each and every day, was your name written in the earth or was it written in the book of life. Was it wheat that you produced, or was it that you produced weeds? 
  7. Amen.

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