2017 Homilies (Written)

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Mark 1:21-28; 1-31-2021 (As Built, Amite #435)

 

  1. On guard, on guard.
  2. The years about the 1930’s... 1940’s. His name is John. John is a Brooklyn, New York boy through and through. He's a New Yorker. He has a younger brother about a little bit younger than he is, and he has a mom who is the quintessential mom. He's got a dad who is an insurance salesman. He would have told you that “Life started out okay, but after a couple of events,” he said “My life started unfolding like dominoes, albeit downward in a spiral.” He said “My life became very disordered.” When the reporter asked him “Well, what happened?” He said “Well, at the age of three my brother passes.” He said “Man, my only brother.” and then he says “At the age of nine, I'm sitting inside with my mom. We're at the kitchen table and the mail has just arrived. My dad has come home early. He comes in, he takes off his hat, and he takes off his jacket. Doesn't say a word. Literally walks through the house, picks up every photo of him, every frame, everything that he wants, puts it under his arm, walks back to the kitchen table, goes through the mail, picks up his check, puts on his jacket and his hat, walks out the house. Never see him again.” He said “Man, I am on my heels. My mom has decided she's going to do what she does best. She said ‘John, you need to be on guard. Life is going to do this to you and you need to be ready, and what we're going to do is what we do best. I'm going to get a job,’ She goes to work for the transit authority ‘and you're going to go to school and you are going to finish.’” As a result of it, man, he goes to high school and he says “Man, high school was challenging.” and his mom said “No John, it wasn't challenging.” She said “What was challenging is that you would rather play with sticks than with books.” Pool sticks, pool cues. She said “You go to school and finish.” He becomes the class clown. He becomes popular each and every year. He wakes up one day decides “Man, I just don't want to go to school.” He's decided that he's going to take some limburger cheese and he's going to find one of them old radiator heaters, 75 of them, schools canceled. John is an instant success overnight. He decided one day just to see how people react, in particular the choir. He waited till they were in full throttle, had a snake, threw it in there, shut the door and locked it just to watch to see how they would respond. On the day of graduation, the students decided they want John to be the MC. He is so good and has such truly a big heart that he has decided that, man, he's all in. He gets a standing ovation. The students loved him. The teachers loved it too because this is John's last day in the school. As a result of leaving, his mom says “Now John, on guard. Get work, help me take care of the home, and things will happen for you. Just keep your head up.” He goes and starts working at a theater, works at a carnival as an MC, kind of like the barker. One that yells out what is coming. As a result, next thing you know he gets a bit part in the movie. The lead cancels and everybody likes John so they put him in a pool movie. He's a Minnesota Fats. Could it be Lord, could it be? Yes, yes Lord it is true. For the 10 people that got it, get a Lotto ticket today. This is the day right here. My brothers and sisters in Christ, as a result, next thing you know he gets in a movie called Larceny, and then he gets another little bit part in Navy Blues, and then another one Through the Night, and then, all of a sudden, things get tough, and his mom told him keep your head up, be on guard, because you just never know John. Well, man, pretty soon, man, they're struggling, this tv station is, to put on their very first sitcom, and the only one that everybody talks about is this guy with a massive heart, that he just loves people and they said “Man, we're going to put you in this role. You're going to work for the transit authority like your mom. You're going to drive a bus. Your best friend will work in the sewer department.” Lord, it's multiplying like loaves. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yeah my brothers and sisters in Christ, and next thing you know every once in a while towards the end of the show, him and his wife Alice would agree to disagree and then, all of a sudden, he said “You know, to the moon Alice. Pow, to the moon.” I see we have young people, he was Beaufort T Justice in Smokey and the Bandit. Okay, just want to make sure I get as many as I can. That's exactly right. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you know him as Jackie Gleason. You know what's amazing? On his tombstone, I don't know if you remember, at the end of a show he used to say “And away we go.” That's what's on his tombstone. Man, he said in an interview late in life “I cannot help but thank my mom for keeping me to stay on guard.” 
  3. That is exactly that Gospel. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the good lord has walked into a synagogue, the holiest of holies per se, unless you're in the temple in Jerusalem, and all of a sudden, a demon speaks to a person “I know who you are. You're the holy one of God.” and the good lord rebukes him and tells him to be quiet, and then subsequently to come out, and then he convulses and falls on the ground and rolls around. Now stop, you're a first century Jew. Let's make sure you understand what you now know. You know the first five books like the back of your hand. You read Deuteronomy and you know you're looking for a Moses type person to bring you to the promised land, to give you a new manna, to bring you out of slavery of sin, and here this one guy is throwing demons out. Did you notice the only people who knew that he was the messiah, outside of Mary, Joseph has already passed, the apostles know but they have doubts, remember even when he ascended in heaven they doubted, my brothers and sisters in Christ, did you realize that only the devil knew exactly who he is? My brothers and sisters in Christ, he called him out by name. My brothers and sisters in Christ, did you realize there in the synagogue, the holiest of holy places? Did you realize my brothers and sisters in Christ, indirectly that the good lord on the sabbath, which is Friday afternoon and most of Saturday, he was worshiping in the temple? My brothers and sisters in Christ, remember this, he got baptized in the Jordan not for him, but to tell you and I that we need to be baptized. He's going to a synagogue on the sabbath, showing you and I that's where we need to be. You notice he wasn't in a duck blind, or deer stand, or ball field? He's at the synagogue. My brothers and sisters in Christ, now this is what you know as a first century Jew. As a first century Jew when somebody, they say, speaks of authority, they call it exousia. It's where you and I get exorcists from. Now remember this, when the demon begins to speak through that person so he must be totally possessed which is about half of one percent in the world today, there are variations of that... watch the news. Ah, very good. Attachments. My brothers and sisters in Christ, what does he say? “What do you have to do with me?” Think, if you were at the wedding to Cana, you would have heard her go to her son and say “They're out of wine.” and what's his comment to his mother? “What does that have to do with me?” It's the sign of respect for somebody who has authority over you. He's telling his mother at the wedding of Cana “You pull me out now. I'll do whatever you want, but you're no longer quote ‘my mom.’ You now become Woman.” That's why he says woman, as in the new Eve and I'm the new Adam. I'm going public. You will not be my mother again until you hold me after they take me down off the cross... the Pieta. Last words she says, “Do whatever he tells you.” The devil is saying you've got my respect because you are God, when have you come to destroy us? My brothers and sisters in Christ, go back to Genesis. Remember after the whole debacle in the garden of Eden, all of a sudden he said “The woman will strike at your head and you will strike at her heel.” but there's also a translation that says “From the woman's seed you will strike at his heel and he will strike at your head.” He knows that the good lord can destroy him. He gets it. My brothers and sisters in Christ, that's why the good lord says “Be quiet because I want everybody else to figure it out for themselves.”
  4. You ever ask yourself, my brothers and sisters in Christ, 2,000 years later, why do the satanic groups only want the host from the Catholic church? Maybe because their boss knows where the host and who the host is? You ever notice that they don't run into a non-denominational church, a protestant church, the Episcopal church? My brothers and sisters in Christ, because he knows the eucharist is what it is. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you need to think for a second of what's going on. When he says “You're the holy one of God.”, every Jew in there, it's a synagogue, knows they're referring back to the psalms like 116 or 119 where it says that Aaron is the holy one of God and in the temple Aaron would have wore a headdress with the holy one, and this is the one that Moses claimed to be the new high priest, so when he said I know who you are, he's telling everybody he’s even higher than Aaron. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you need to understand this about demons. They have seven characteristics. They are on the earth and they roam freely. My brothers and sisters in Christ, they are even in religious places. Have you ever been sitting in mass and out of nowhere a thought crosses your head and you're saying “What was that?”, who do you think's here to distract you? My brothers and sisters in Christ, not only can he roam the earth, not only can he be in religious places, my brothers and sisters in Christ, he's here for one reason and one reason only, to torment you and me. He hates you. My brothers and sisters in Christ, he roams free, he has to obey God, he fears God, and he knows at the end of the day he will be judged and condemned by God. My brothers and sisters in Christ, he's here for one reason and one reason only. Now stop, go back in Scripture. If you're a scripture type person, go back to Job. The devil shows up, the good lord says “What do you think about my boy Job?” “What's to like? You let me touch him, I'll turn him.” “No no, where have you come from?” “Roaming the earth and patrolling it.” “You can do whatever you want but you can't touch him.” In one day, one day, by breakfast he's already lost all the sheep, all his camels, and all his cows. My brothers and sisters in Christ, by that day at noon, he's lost seven sons and three daughters, and the only thing out of that man's mouth is “Naked I came into the world and naked will I return.” and the devil says “You let me touch him and I'll turn him.” “Touch him.” Job gets hit with everything possible, still never turns. Roaming the earth and patrolling, what did Saint Peter say? He's a roaring lion looking for souls to steal. You know what Padre Pio said of the demon? He said there are two demons on the earth, listen, two demons on the earth for every person that has ever walked from Adam and Eve to now. Pio's been dead for almost 20-30 years. If they had that many demons when he was alive, how many demons are in our world today? My brothers and sisters in Christ, he said “If you took all the demons in the world, they would block the sun.” and you don't think he's around? My brothers and sisters in Christ, think about how a demon can come to you in a myriad of different ways. In the Garden of Eden he came as Leviathan the great dragon. He literally intimidates Adam and Eve into partaking of the apple, or what the Jews would say the fig tree. Apple in greek is milan, that also means evil. That's why sometimes you see a snake eating an apple. I digress. He comes as the great dragon. My brothers and sisters in Christ, you never ask yourself why is it he said “On your belly you shall crawl.”? If he's already a snake, well, he's already on the ground, but if you're the dragon and you fly over creation, that is a far drop to go from above the skies to the very ground. That's why he clipped his wings and that's why he said “On your belly you shall crawl.” He will come as a dragon, he will come as a snake, my brothers and sisters in Christ, according to Padre Pio, he came one time to him as the blessed mother. They asked “Hey Pio, how did you know it was her?” He said “At first I didn't, then I made the Sign of the Cross and she didn't respond, and then she just vanished.” He said one time Lucifer came to him looking like the good lord himself. He said spitting image. He said “I just stood there and then something said to me ‘look at his hands, look at his feet.’ He had no wounds.” He said that's how he knew he was Lucifer. Saint Faustina, Saint Anselm, and Saint Augustine all say that the evil one will come as a dog at times. My brothers and sisters in Christ, he can take any form. He can put thoughts into your head. Remember, three people can put a thought in your head. He can, you and I can, and so can he. I'm not asking you to walk in trepidation because he has to obey the good lord. All things have to come through God. He fears the good lord and rightfully so. That's why you and I should have fear of the lord. We should remember he's a barking dog, that he is tied to a chain and, as a result, our ability to ignore him is what will win the day.
  5.  The question is “Are you and I on guard for that time when the dog barks?” It's not going to come from somebody that you rarely recognize, the guy passing you on the way that gives you the sign of peace or whatever, the person that cuts you off in traffic, we all get exposed to that. Are you ready for the one that you don't expect it from, the one that you know, the one that you're friends with, that's part of the family? My brothers and sisters in Christ, you got to be on guard, so that's what I'm telling you, that he can put a thought in your head. He's not going to show up with a pitchfork and a pointed tail. The best thing the evil one has done is made you and I believe he doesn't exist. That's why we pray the exorcism prayer, in case you pick up attachments. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the question for you and I is... there's no question he's in our world, just look at it. Have you watched the news? And you are asking me who's running this show? My brothers and sisters in Christ, the question for you and I is “What are you and I doing about it?” Are you on guard? My brothers and sisters in Christ, are you praying in the morning? In other words my brothers and sisters in Christ, do you have anything blessed on you, whether you're at work, taking a shower, going to do this or that, is something blessed on you so that the evil one will know quote “You've been touched by God.”? Have you been baptized? Oh my God, how will the evil one know that you don't belong to him? My brothers and sisters in Christ, are you going to confession? I can tell you this, you ain't been here in the last couple weeks because there's only two of us there and we're getting tired of playing solitaire, so if it fits wear it, but I got to tell you, I'm not saying you're not holy, the average holy person sins seven times a day. Don't go to confession for a month, 200 sins. Don't go for six months, that's 1,200. Don't go for a year, 2,400. My brothers and sisters in Christ, don't go for a decade, 24,000 sins. What kind of relationship do you got with anybody if you dismiss them that many times? Hebrews 5 “I'll choose priests among men for the forgiveness of sins. No one is to take it upon themselves.” John 20 “Go out and heal them and forgive them of their sins.” The good lord never baptized anybody and never heard their confession. Why? Because he's only here for three years, he's got to return home, so you might as well get used to going to Peter and the boys. My brothers and sisters in Christ, go to confession. You got to close that gap. Is your house blessed? “Well, no Father, it's-” You know, I’ll tell you what. Only lock your front door from now on. Don't worry about it, it's all good just like the front door. My brothers and sisters in Christ, do you use blessed salt? Do you cook with it? Do you put it in your car? My brothers and sisters in Christ, what are you relying on? Your driving habits? There is my point. My brothers and sisters in Christ, the good lord has given us seven great tools to get us from redemption, the crucifixion, to salvation, the pearly gates. Never confuse them. They are not the same. Redemption is the crucifixion, salvation is the pearly gates. Just because he died on the cross don't mean you and I are getting a free pass. Here, I'm going to let you know the good news, the good lord said in a parable only one out of four is going to make it. “I don't remember hearing that.” No, what you need to be telling me is you didn't read it. My brothers and sisters in Christ, he said there was a farmer that went and got some seed. He threw some seed on the path. What good does it do? That gets trampled to death. I threw some seed, it fell over there into the thorns. I threw another group of seeds and it fell over there in the rocks. Only one group fell on good soil. One out of four, 25 percent. How many of us are staying home to watch the mass because it's convenient? You've met the obligation and you receive no grace. 
  6. My brothers and sisters in Christ, I'm telling you, Padre Pio was right when they asked him “Do you believe, Pio, that there's many demons in the world.” He said “More than you can imagine. I see them all the time.” He said “As an exorcist and as having two friends that are exorcists, they tell me the exact same words out of Pio's mouth.” With all the courage I could muster, I asked the priest who was the exorcist, I said “You know Pio said that we all have a guardian angel.” The exorcist responded “Yes, sometimes more than one.” I said “Do we have a demon too?” He said “Yes,” he said “Pride, anger, gluttony, lust, avarice, sloth, or envy. It's going to be one of the seven.” My brothers and sisters in Christ, and not to play off the commercial, I do not care what's in your wallet. The only thing I care about is who's on guard for your soul.
  7. Amen.

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