2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 2:22-40; 12-27-2020 (As Built, Amite #430)

  1. Patience, patience.
  2. The year is 1960. His name is Maurice Micklewhite, Maurice Micklewhite. He was born in London. He'll tell you that he had a pretty good family, pretty decent home life. His mom was the quintessential mom. She was a little bit of a house cleaner, she cleaned businesses at night and cooked for the family during the day. He'll tell you his dad was a fisherman, kind of worked the market, worked out on the seas, and he'll tell you that his life was, for the most part, pretty good. High school... fairly uneventful, but when you grow up in London, you're in England, when you reach the age of maturity, 18, you have to join the army. You have to spend two or three years, and he'll tell you, at the time you're not a fan of it, but it does make you appreciate the country, appreciate the effort, what it means to defend it, and also you’ve got to do your part. As a result, he said he goes and he does that. He gets out and he says, man, he says he just doesn't know where he wants to go with himself. He doesn't know what to do, he doesn't know where to go, and he was a big Humphrey Bogart fan so he just decides arbitrarily that “I'm gonna go to Hollywood, I'm gonna be in movies.” He goes to Hollywood and he's one of those messengers, you know the ones you see on the bikes, and they asked him to run this to the studio, run this script over here, bring this film over here, do this over there, and so that's what he did, and he's thinking “Man, I'll never make it the way this is going.” and so he decides “Well, maybe if they could just get me a bit part.” so he begs, he pleads, he does whatever he's got to do, and they get him a little part in a little play, and it works out okay. It kind of gets him over the hump, and then, all of a sudden, he says “Man, you know I could probably do this if they could give me a little bit of a shot, so they get him in a in a movie called Zulu, and that at least gets him exposure, and then he says “Man, I'm in that one and then I'm in another one called Bombing Britain.” and he said “Man, then the people that did Bombing Britain did what they called a Funeral in Berlin.” and then he got that one, and then he got another one called Foul Play, or was it Dirty Play- doesn't matter. Y'all have no idea where I'm at, but that's okay. As a result of it, man, he says “Then the world just goes blank.” he said almost for three or four years, he was non-existent. He said he even had friends who thought he had passed because nobody's heard of him. He said “You learn to have patience because you just don't go jump into the movie industry and get a job.” He said “Somebody's got to know somebody, who knows somebody, who decides, man, and the luck would have it and the stars aligned.” and he says and then that's what happened. He said there was a play that came out, and he got a bit part in it a Man Who Should be King, and he said that it caught everybody's attention, and then he was in a movie called a Bridge Too Far. God, I was hoping that would help better, but that's okay. As a result of it, he does in a Bridge Too Far, and next thing you know things started to kind of bounce his way. He said “Nut it doesn't come quick.” so he said “One thing you learn about being in Hollywood, man, you better be patient and you better persevere because without it, you'll starve to death. Then he says “Man, so I do that war movie, a Bridge Too Far and then next thing you know I get in a movie totally different called Austin Powers called Gold Member. He does that and then all of a sudden, man, some more people start paying attention, and then he's in another one called the Italian Job, and if you ever want to see a good movie, that's it. He says, man, he does Italian Job and then the next thing you know, he does the movie that came out not long ago called Dunkirk, but then most people recognized him because he did the Dark Knight trilogy. He was the butler for Batman actually, Bruce Wayne, oh wow, no kidding. We've had three people nod. Those three people are now tax exempt, the rest of you, you're on your own. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you know him as Michael Caine, then again, maybe you don't. You know what's amazing my brothers and sisters in Christ? They interviewed him and when he was going through that law, you know, that two or three years when nobody would even talk to him, he said he's in he goes back home, he gets a phone call, he's listening, he's got to go out to the phone booth, he said that's how poor he is, he's got to take his phone calls from a phone booth, his agent says “Whatever you do, change your name. Maurice Miklewhite ain't selling it.” He said “Well, just just use Michael something.” and he says “I'm on the phone and I'm looking up at these billboards, and he says and I see this sign that says Cain Mutiny, and I said Michael Caine.” He said “Good.” and so the reporter said “Was that the only billboard?” He said “No, there was one for 101 Dalmatians, but it just didn't sell.” 
  3. My brothers and sisters in Christ, it's all about patience. That is exactly what the good lord is implying. My brothers and sisters in Christ, did you hear the very first couple of sentences, that they had to wait before they brought the good lord to the temple? There was going to be a time frame in which they had to pause. bMy brothers and sisters in Christ, here's to make sure you understand, as a first century Jew, these are the things that you would know. When a child comes into the world, if it is a male child, before y'all can go to the temple if it's a male child, the wife has to wait 30 days. If y'all have a daughter, you have to wait 60 days. I'm just reading the rules to you. As a result of it, you have to wait for that purification to take place before you can bring the child to the temple. When you get to the temple, if you have a male child, you will offer a lamb. If you have a female child, it may be a turtle dove, or a pigeon or something along those lines. If you are poor then you have to bring two of the lesser items, i.e two pigeons, two turtle doves, hence why you see the blessed mother and Joseph bring such. Now brothers and sisters in Christ, this goes all the way back to Exodus. This is something that every Jew would have known. When they get to the temple, Simeon gets, if you will, an overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, so now he recognizes the savior for who he is. Remember, he had been told that he would be able to lay eyes on him. Can you imagine you're the mom, the dad, you have waited to bring the messiah into the temple, or your child, Simeon now does a great blessing saying that the rise and fall of many will come, and then he pauses in his prayer and looks at you and says “And a sword will pierce your heart.” Happy birthday. My brothers and sisters in Christ, can you imagine what that must have meant to her? My brothers and sisters in Christ, not only does Simeon speak, the high priest, but the prophetess Anna, which they would have recognized her, anybody that's in the temple and had been there that long and had been there in such a way that people have come to recognize their name and respect them, it would have been her as well. Remember, she's only married for seven years. For a Jew, seven is the most complete number there is. If you notice, my brothers and sisters in Christ, at 84, where she sits now, she's about to see the start of the church. If you were to multiply the 7 times the number of tribes, 12, then you get 84. To a Jew, those numbers would have resonated because what you would have heard was you waited seven years and now you're married to Christ, she's a religious, a nun if you will, and all of a sudden, he made you wait for the beginning of the church, for the tenure of the 12 tribes. My brothers and sisters in Christ, that little meeting that they had with Simeon and Anna is more powerful than people know. It set the table for how the rest of the world because you can imagine Mary leaving, what it must have been like for her. Man, a sword will pierce your heart. How many times? Seven. 
  4. My brothers and sisters in Christ, go back in scripture. All of our better players are people that were able to be patient, who were able to wait for it to come. I'm not saying they sat on their hands, but what I am saying to you is that they took what came along, they did what they had to do, but they still waited for what was important. If you are Veronica, the one who wiped the face of Christ, according to tradition, small t, the same woman that was standing in the middle of the crucifixion blocking the crucifixion. As a woman, you have no rights. Your name is not even listed in genealogies even though the good lord puts four in his, matter of fact, my brothers and sisters in Christ, you're not even counted when they count families. This is why Joseph had to travel back to his home. My brothers and sisters in Christ, all of a sudden, here she is blocking the aisle to wipe the face of Christ. This is the same woman, according to tradition, as the one that touched his tassel. This is the woman that if she was hemorrhaging internally, she is broke, she's about to die, and she can't go inside a temple because she's bleeding externally, and because she touches his tassel she now, years later, think about it, years later she's now blocking the crucifixion to wipe his face. She had to wait patiently for him to come. My brothers and sisters in Christ, imagine you and I being lepers back in the day. If a leper was here today and we were in Jerusalem or Bethlehem praying the mass, they would have been over there by the tree line. That's as close as they could have gotten, a stone's throw away, because if they got closer you and I would have stoned them. They would have had to yell out “Leprosy.” so that way you and I would have recognized who has it so we can stay away from them. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be a leper in the day of Christ? Nobody is putting up a banner, Christ at 11:00, Christ will be here at 8:30 to 10:00, my brothers and sisters in Christ, all they have is rumor and innuendo and gossip to survive off of. Somebody hears something, who hears something, that gets back to them, and now they're gonna wait for him, patiently waiting. My brothers and sisters in Christ, do you know when Paul was blinded for three days, he doesn't know that he's gonna get his sight back again in three days? He's assumed he's blind for life. Think about it brothers and sisters in Christ, you go from Saul to on the ground, you're blinded, and you recognize the Lord because you yell out to him “Lord, how can this be?” In other words, you actually recognize the voice. My brothers and sisters in Christ, it takes him three years before he goes public. Talk about being patient and understanding the teachings and traditions of the world and the church. My brothers and sisters in Christ, all of our best players are people that were patient and let the good lord do what he needed to do. 
  5. The question for you and I is “How patient are we?” Well, let's see my brothers and sisters in Christ, let's see how patient we are. It's Christmas and you got to go Christmas shopping. You decided, against your better judgment, to go into Walmart. You have got your list of items, your bag, your little buggy is full, so is everybody else's. There's a hundred people waiting in line for three people to check out. How patient are you as you're waiting for them to go? How patient are you when you watch somebody have more than 10 items in there and you're counting the items knowing good and well you double counted, that's closer to 14 or 15. Do you actually look in their buggy and say “Man, what are you doing eating that? You ought to know better than that.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, how quick are you to lose your patience when you're just driving around town? When somebody's had their blinker on for almost two blocks and hasn't turned yet, or the light has turned green? Do you give them at least a nanosecond before you lay on the horn, or if they're going too slow do you pull around them and give them the look like “the parking lots are over to the right”? My brothers and sisters in Christ, are you and I more patient with strangers than we are with our family? That's disordered. Are you less patient with your parents now than earlier? You know my brothers and sisters in Christ, it's amazing the stories that I hear whether I go to the nursing homes here, or I go the ones down in Houma, or I go the ones down in Lake Charles, or the other ones in New Orleans. It doesn't matter where I seem to go, it just seems that our patience for our parents is not even measurable anymore. Man, it's almost like they take up too much time, they ask too many questions. I mean, if they just ask me one more question about that remote, I'm going to stick it in their ear. My brothers and sisters in Christ, if they ask me one more question about a computer, I don't think I can take it father. You know, all I can tell you my brothers and sisters in Christ is when we were growing up, they listened to every one of our questions over and over again. They took care of everything we needed, even when we had to be cleaned. Tell me who got the raw end of that deal. My brothers and sisters in Christ, how patient are you with the people that you work with, when they ask you a question which you think they should have logically known? My brothers and sisters in Christ, can we even spell patience? Imagine what the good lord would say to you and I when we commit the same sin over, and over, and over again. at what point, my brothers and sisters in Christ, should he lose patience? The measure with which we judge will be judged against us. Wouldn't that apply for patience? The amount of patience we show towards others will be the amount of patience that he shows towards us. Would we even make it? My brothers and sisters in Christ, Lincoln was right when he said “It's better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, I ask you now with this time of the season, with all that is going on, can you just pause for a minute before you speak? Can you just not roll your eyes when you hear that statement come out that you can't believe it was said? Before you shake your head dismissively, can you just pause for a minute instead of letting sin into your life, and then the sin gets louder, and the next thing you know we're in an argument, pretty soon, next thing you know, there's emails and text messages, and now we've ruined a day which was only going to occupy two seconds? 
  6. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I leave you with this. Patience is not just sitting still, patience is sitting still with a good attitude, and what I'm asking you today is to be patient with your loved ones, even more so than you would be with strangers, and especially your parents and your family.
  7. Amen.

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