2017 Homilies (Written)

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Matthew 21:33-43; 10-4-2020 (As Built; Amite #419)

  1. Anyway. Anyway.
  2. It's the 1960s, his name is Vogel. Vogel is born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is one of four children. Vogel has three sisters and he will tell you that his life was pretty good. He said he'll tell you that his mom was a dancer and that his dad was actually an actor. Matter of fact, his dad was in the Magnificent Seven, he played the deputy on Bonanza, and as a result of it, he said you know he always kind of had an inkling about acting, but at the end of the day it's all about playing ball, baseball. From grammar school he was enamored with it. Matter of fact, in high school he was even that much better. He told his dad one day and his dad said “Son, you always need to have a plan b, you got to make sure you got something behind you just in case baseball doesn't make it.” He said “Dad, everything else is irrelevant. It's all about baseball, anyway.” He said “Son, it's never about baseball, that's irrelevant, anyway.” Go back to grammar school, he's so good at baseball his dad said “Look, since I’m doing work for Disney, I’m gonna get you some work. In the 1970s, Vogel is so popular, he's probably Disney’s poster child. He was in Daniel Boone, he was in the Virginian, he was in the Man from Uncle, he did a little bit on Gilligan’s Island. Gilligan’s island. Cricket. Cricket. As a result of it, man, he gets a little bit and lost in space and then, man, his dad said “Now that's where you need to be careful.” he said “Man, this is where you need to be. Baseball is going to come and go son, anyway.” He's decided he's going to leave and go play ball after high school. He makes the Anaheim Angels, minor league, goes to turn a double play, he gets taken out, tears his rotator cuff, it's all gone, anyway. All of a sudden, his dad said “Now do you see why you have to make sure of what's a priority to you?” As a result, he starts getting involved in a couple movies. His dad gets him involved in a couple more. He's in movies like Escape from New York, Executive Decision, he was in a remake of a Poseidon adventure, he was in Overboard with Goldie Hawn. Oh, this is going to be ugly. You know, I didn't memorize a dozen of these things, I’m just saying. As a result of it, man, he's in a couple more, Tango & Cash, as a matter of fact, my brothers and sisters in Christ, he was in one called Backdraft. He was Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. Thank you Lord for the 20 people who now know. Yes my brothers and sisters in Christ, he was Kurt Russell. You know what's amazing? When they interview him and they ask him “Man, tell me about your life.” He said “You know, I thought baseball was that important anyway.” he said “Then I found out that I needed acting, and then I found out that the most important thing to me was my family, anyway.” he said “If it wasn't for vhs tapes, I wouldn't even have a job.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, what he realizes is he found out what anyway finally means. 
  3. That is exactly that gospel. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the good lord is talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees and he gives them a parable about a vineyard, about tenants, and sending more tenants, and then next thing you know you're sending more people to get money, and next thing you know they killed his son, and he's saying what do you think is important anyway. They get so lost in the parable they don't even realize who the owner of the kingdom is, who the owner of the vineyard is, who owns the wine press, they don't even know who owned the tower, and at the end of the day he said the only thing that was important is me anyway. Now stop, you're a first century Jew. Christ is coming to the end of his life here on Earth. He's been preaching for three years. He is in the synagogue of Jerusalem, the synagogue, which would have been held by the high priest and instead of just talking to the people who have lined the walls to hear him speak, he's literally turned and speaking to them and he gives them the parable. Every Jew there would know immediately where Isaiah sat and immediately they would recognize what Isaiah would have told them. You didn't recognize who was most important, you destroyed the temple, you destroyed the city, you destroyed the foundation and everything that's under it because you were too caught up in your world. You know what's amazing, my brothers and sisters in Christ? They don't see the forest for the trees. You know what's also amazing in that temple? He actually quotes Isaiah. Isaiah is sawed in half for the privilege. Jeremiah comes into the world and tells them the same thing, that they are destroying the vineyard and they stone him, and now Christ is in the world and they're going to crucify him for telling the exact same thing, and to help them understand, he quotes psalm 118. You and I would have known the psalms backwards and forwards. They wouldn't have numbered them, but the first couple of words would have given us the clue, that's how they did it. You didn't know them by number, you knew them by name, so therefore when he says that the in the cornerstone will be the structure of the church, he's telling them it's from the last supper, he's telling them it's the great psalm called the great hallel. Every Jew would have known it, so if you didn't listen to Isaiah and you didn't listen to Jeremiah, would you at least listen to me when I quote you psalm 118? They ignore it. 
  4. My brothers and sisters in Christ, go back in scripture. All of our best players are those that have come to recognize that there's only one thing important anyway. Paul taught you and I that it doesn't matter how much prestige you have, doesn't matter how much money you have, doesn't matter where you have many chariots and many horses and a lot of land and you're also the great Pharisee taught by Gamaliel l himself. All that matter to Paul, as he is now Paul and no longer Saul, is Christ. He dies in a prison, he is beheaded, he has only one set of clothes, he has no money no fame no fortune, and all he's got is 240 lashes on his back, he's got three memories of being sank on a ship, he's been stoned to a point they thought he was dead, he was even caned. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the only thing that mattered to Paul anyway was the preaching of the messiah. Paul, Peter, Peter no longer cared about fishing, it was more important that he proclaimed the gospel, it was more important he become the rock in which we build our church anyway. Mary Magdalene, all seven demons, it didn't matter to her whether Christ had died or not, she'd rather be at the tomb the next morning, I’d rather be near a dead savior than live people anyway because that's all that's important. Do you know, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that Martha and Mary and Lazarus actually leave their home and their fortunes and all their money to become a follower of Christ. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the one that stabbed Christ, Longinus, he didn't care about his profit sharing, his health benefits, I’m the centurion in that area, I report only to Pilate, I leave that day and I make it clear, truly that man was the son of God, that's all that mattered to me anyway. 
  5. So now it's 2,000 years later. My brothers and sisters in Christ, there's only one thing that should matter to you and I anyway. Did we make heaven or not? Yes or no? My brothers and sisters in Christ, you and I are caught up in the world. In the past week, I’ve anointed more people than I have in the last six months, and let me tell you not one conversation on that deathbed did anybody ask me “Man, what about my house, my car, my clothes, my camp, what about my hobbies, what about my shotguns, what about my fishing gear, what about my boat, Father?” All they cared about “Man, is this good Father? Am I good with him? Will you hear my confession? Will you anoint me? Do you have the bread for the journey home?” That's all that matters anyway. Why are you and I so consumed about our retirement plan as if somehow another it's still going to be there? Why are you and I so concerned about all the trappings of our world when all of our best players only had the clothes on their back. Peter left his home and for all intents and purposes his family. Paul will die in a prison. Peter will be crucified upside down. Longinus will be killed about a year and a half later when they behead him when they find out who he is. Martha and Mary and Lazarus will all leave and unfortunately be subject to a terrible death. So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m begging you, ask yourself. The problem is not between you and your work anyway. The problem is not between you and your boss or your co-workers anyway. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you think they go home worried about what you and I think? The only thing that matters is your relationship to Christ. Everything begins and ends with him, so why is it we are so consumed about what other people say about us, think about us, or write about us? It does not have anything to do with them, your work, your income, you're finished, where you're going to be, your profit sharing, and your car. None of these things matter. I’m telling you my brothers and sisters in Christ, the only things that matter are are you keeping the commandments. Do you even know them? My brothers and sisters in Christ, if you don't know them, then how do you know what's going to prevent you from making the kingdom of heaven? My brothers and sisters in Christ, do you know the seven sacraments? Why will you not go to confession? I still don't understand that. Nowhere in scripture did Christ ever say “Come confess your sins to me.”? He never said it, moreover he never did it. He didn't baptize anybody either, so I’d like to know where it says you can go directly to the big guy. He feeds 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and fish, which is about 15,000 men women and children, but yet he doesn't feed any one of the people. He feeds only his 12 and tells them to go feed. Why? So people could get used to being fed by them. Confessions were in existence before he got here. I came to fulfill the law not to change it. Go to confession. Oh my God, how hard is it? What is going to be your argument when you stand before him? “Well Lord, I’ve been coming to you all this time.” “I know, do you not read my scripture? Do you not follow my teachings of my church?” For 1,500 years, 1,500 years, everybody did the same thing. You're either a Jew or you're a Catholic. Until Martin Luther gets in this game, nothing changed. We now got 40,000 faiths and don't tell me that they're all telling you the truth. I’ve already been half of them so I’m telling you go to confession, get back in the church, learn the commandments. At the end of the day, only one thing matters, did you or did you not make it, did your family make it, did your children make it, did your spouse make it, because if not, you're in hell for all eternity. Stop getting worked up over what people think of you, what people say of you, what others write about you. It's irrelevant anyway
  6. And I now leave you with this. Mother Teresa was right and she also often is. She wrote a poem called Anyway. People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are honest, people will cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you are successful, you'll win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. If you build something overnight, they will destroy it. Build it anyway. Give it the best you have, give till it hurts, because at the end of the day it was never between you and them. It was only between you and him anyway.
  7. Amen

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