2017 Homilies (Written)


Matthew 13:24-43; 7-19-2020 (As Built; Amite #408)


  1. Weed, as in singular. Weed. 
  2. It's the 1920s, 1930s. He's been laying in a field all day. He has been laying in a field of weeds all day just waiting for that opportunity. He knows the little girl is going to come out to play, it's the grandmother's house. She loves to be outside. I’m just going to sit and wait. Hours go by. He knows that she's going to come out. You see, he's just got a way. You see, you got to understand first of all the girl is absolutely adorable. She's about ye tall, pigtails, kind of brownish hair to her shoulder. She has these freckles across her face, very light-skinned, and she's always loves the outdoors. He knows this, you see, because he's her dad. He's really trying to kidnap her is what he's trying to do. Man, he's waited so long he's become tired and exasperated. He decides to sit up against a tree and he starts to look around the field, and he says “Man, it's just nothing but weeds. How apropos, my whole life is one big weed. It's been nothing but weeds.” He started thinking back to when his dad died when he was five. He gets to high school and he doesn't quite have the grades. It would help if you show up, but Harlan has decided no, I’m not. As a result, man, he doesn't get through high school. He's got to come back later and finish. He's decided that, man, he's got to do something with his life, so he decides that I’m going to join the army. He gets there turns into a little bit of a brouhaha with a couple of soldiers. He goes AWOL. He's got to leave. Man, he left he never even became a private. As a result, he said “Man, I got to find some other work.” He decides that “Man, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll drive a street car.” He goes to work for a street car, gets into an argument with some of the passengers, another brouhaha ensores, as a result of it, he said “Man, I got to find me another job” so he leaves. He says “Man, I’m going to be a farmer that's what. I’m going to be a farmer.” Harlan has no green thumb, therefore there is no farm, therefore he has lost even more money. As a result of it, he's decided that “You know, I just need to do something.” You know he actually finished high school, goes studies to be an attorney, takes the bar, passes in his first trial he does such a magnificent job until the very end when his client and him get an argument and a fight ensues in the courtroom. He's disbarred. As a result of it, Man, he can't even make ends meet. He tried to sell tires, he tried to sell insurance, he tried to sell cars, and now he's sitting in a field hoping against hope that he could see his daughter. He came home one day, his wife had taken and sold all their goods and moved back home to the grandmother. That's her house. That's why he's out there. He just wants to see his daughter. He's finally decided “You know, there's only one thing in my life I’ve done right. Out of all the weeds in my life the one thing I did is I married the right woman albeit we're estranged and I have a beautiful daughter.” Man, next thing you know he's decided “I’m just going to go back to work.” He tries little in and odd jobs. Man, he built a pressure cooker that was absolutely well beyond his years. Man, he started going back to try and sell cars, and next thing you know he meets his friend, and his friend tells him “Look, go back to your wife. Do what you got to do. You know, Harlan, you only do one thing good, man, besides fight, that's obvious.” He says “The only thing you do is run a gas station, and the only thing in that gas station that's worth anything is the chicken that you make.” Yeah my brothers and sisters in Christ, it's when he decides to go back and do what he does best notwithstanding all the weeds. You and I come to know Harland as the Colonel because he gets back with his wife and they bring another child in the world, and today you and I have KFC because he recognized that he needed to get the weeds out of his life. 
  3. That is exactly that gospel. This is why the good lord tells them “No, don't pull the weeds. Let me do it. You take care of yourself. I will handle the weeds of the world.” Now stop, you're a first century Jew. Please remember this, whenever the good lord talks parabolically, he's speaking in parables, look for the twist. Something that just doesn't seem logical. Two weekends ago a farmer went and got seed. He threw seed upon a pathway, he threw seed in the rocks. he threw seed in the thorns, and then he finally planted on good soil. What farmer spends 75 percent of his goods on ground that he knows will not grow. There's the twist. There's where the good lord wants you to look at. It it's totally contrary to what you think. Instead of worrying about what everybody else is doing, are they in the thorns, or they are the rocks, are they on the beaten path, the only thing you need to worry about is where are you relative to him, and did you realize only 25 of the people get it. Look around. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the parable that he's now speaking to you with. You mean to tell me that you hear a story that overnight, 24 hours, weeds are now growing, and when you come out what farmer wouldn't already start pulling the weeds, granted it's diabolical that the weeds have shown up overnight, but why wouldn't he allow you to pull it? Because he's trying to tell you “I need you to start with the small weed. The one that's in you and not in everybody else. I need you to start small so that you will know where I want you to be, so that you will be in the 25% that I’m after because 75% are falling away.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, when he talks about leaven, do you know to a Jew when you speak of leaven, to raise bread if you will, they use that to describe the Pharisees and Sadducees who walk around in pomp and circumstance, and he's saying no, don't be that way, but because I used leaven this is how it will be when you decide to take care of that one weed. It will start to grow within you, and then it'll be contagious between you and your spouse, then you and your spouse and your children, and then your family, and then your neighbors. You have to start small. There is where he's driving home the point. My brothers and sisters in Christ, when he said a mustard seed and that it would grow into a beautiful bush, have you seen a mustard plant? Have you seen the shrub? At its height it's a 10-foot tumbleweed. Instead of saying the cedars of Lebanon, or the massive oak, he said “If you start small, I promise you no matter what you come out like if you follow me. People will come to you to find me even in a mustard plant, a mustard shrub, a tree.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, therein lies the point. He's asking you to focus just on the weed that grows within you and I, so that we can prune it, so that we can grow closer to him.
  4. Look, go back in scripture. It doesn't take long for weeds to grow. Within six days of creation, Lucifer has already been planted and is already removing Adam and Eve, man and woman. My brothers and sisters in Christ, Moses is not up the mountain 40 days, and they're already building a golden calf. In order to get that calf built, somebody had to start early. They didn't wait to the 40th day, so somewhere less than half the days weeds grew. Judas turns our savior over and in 24 hours he goes from the apostle Judas, blind see, lame walk, dead rise, to the son of perdition and it would have been better you've never been born. That's how dominant one weed can be. 
  5. Well now here you and I sit 2000 years later. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you and I need to look inwardly and ask ourselves “What is the one thing we need to stop doing, and what is the one thing we need to start doing? What is the one thing that we need to stop doing?” How much time do you and I spend on our cell phones, emails, text messages? If you and I are on the phone texting, talking, or whatever more than we are praying, that's disordered. That's one thing that has to stop. If you're on the computer, I’m talking outside of work, more than you are reading, or studying about Christ, or reading a spiritual book, it's disordered. You and I both know that once you get into that computer, you're there for hours. Man, look at Facebook. If you spend more time responding to Facebook than you do in prayer on your knees, that is disordered. It must stop. There is one thing that you and I need to start doing, that is walking away from conversations that do not compel us to bring us closer to Christ. How safe, how safe is somebody else's name on your lips? That's the bottom line. I don't want to hear “Well father, I was just saying. Good, what you just said was a lie. It was imprudent. It's bearing false witness because whether it's true or not, nobody told you to be the town crier, so once you put it on the internet, or the email, or you hit send, congratulations. You've done bought into the sin of commandment eight. Now you've got to go to confession before you come to receive. This is how easy the evil one gets in our game. He starts intertwining our thoughts and getting us to react because we are passionate because we are people with appetites, in saint Thomas’s words, so what I’m asking you to do is stop and think before you respond before you act. Why? Because that's where the evil one resides. he resides at the very end, so when someone starts speaking about somebody else, would it be best for you and I to say “At least, man, let's pray for them or better yet just walk away.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, what are the one things that you and I need to stop doing is how much time do we spend in front of the television? Could we not spend a little more time just in prayer, to go by the adoration chapel, to sit before him, my brothers and sisters in Christ, to help a family member that's in need, to get on the phone, to go see a loved one you haven't talked, to go by the nursing home, to do what it takes, to help a family out? My brothers and sisters in Christ, the problem of the world today is we are narcissistic. If it's not the way I want it, when I want it, and how I want it, then I will not participate. Then so be it, and when you stand before him you tell him because I’m not going to take the hit for the sin. I am not going to stand up and say “Lord, I’m sorry I shrunk in front of you. I know I stutter and stammer, but during the homily for some reason for the last 10 years it's never been the case, and you want me to kowtow and say that I’m not going to say it.” But at the end of the day, gossip and slander destroy our church, it destroys our families, it destroys our fabric. That is why our church is in trouble, that is why our families are in trouble, that's why we're in trouble. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you and I always have one thing that we need to start doing and one thing that we need to stop doing. I’m asking you to make it start today. I don't care if you get up and you fall down. Get back up. I don't care if you get up and you fall down 100 times. Get up. I don't care if you want to have a pity party, great, step on the side, kick your dog, do what you got to do. Now get in the game because you came in on this day and you're going home on this day. Everything in between is what we will be judged on. My mercy doesn't want it, but justice demands it. Stop looking at Christ as a big marshmallow. In the words of one of our great saints, she said “His mercy stops on the day of your passing, and then only judgment is left. You have up until this day to make amends, go to confession, do the best you can, and just love one another.”
  6.  My brothers and sisters in Christ, I leave you with this. At the end of the day, there is no greater gift than the Eucharist. Outside of the Eucharist is confession. I’m telling you. Find a priest and go. Pick one thing in your life that you need to stop doing and one thing in your life you need to start doing. 
  7. Amen.



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