Aloha Friday Message – April 29, 2011 – “You are my Beloved.”

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Aloha pumehana, ‘Ōmea …Warmest Aloha, Beloved. Here is today’s Aloha Friday Message Read it online here.

Today’s Bible verses is John 13:34 and its companion verse, John 15:12.

NIV: John 13:34 – A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

NIV: John 15:12 – My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Have you ever wondered why I call you “Beloved” when I address these messages to you? I learned more about it this past weekend during the Triduum – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday with the Easter Vigil as a prelude to Easter Sunday. It was probably the best, most uplifting, and most spiritually satisfying Triduum I have ever celebrated. I wish to share with you some of the things I learned during the homilies given by Reverend Father Ramelo Somera and Reverend Father Peter Miti.

Over the past seven weeks, our theme for the Lenten Series of Aloha Friday Messages was LOVE. We ended with the message on Good Friday that Jesus did the things he did because of Love. We learned about how his tortuous death was the greatest love story ever told. That is the end of one story and the beginning of another. The other story begins with Easter. In the Gospel accounts of Resurrection Day, Christ breaks the bonds of death in the morning.

Morning is the beginning for us now. I remember how surprised I was years ago to learn that the Sabbath begins at sundown Friday night. The Sabbath begins in darkness just as creation began in darkness. Our calendar days begin in darkness in most places in the world – the exceptions being the North and South Poles. Midnight is the beginning of a new day and it is always dark at midnight. A popular proverb is “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.” At dawn, we begin to see the sun rising, and most of us reckon that to be the beginning of our new day, for we no longer are sleeping (most of us anyway) and we get up, get ready, and go do something in the World and the light of the sun. When the sun rises, darkness ends, and a new day is beginning. Similarly, when the Son rises, Darkness ends, and a new Day is beginning. His rising brings Life and Light into our lives. We see the Son rising, and reckon that to be the beginning of our New Day, for we are no longer sleeping in the Death of sin, but living in the Light of Christ. We get up, get ready, and go do something in the Spirit and in the Light of the Son.

When we are one in the Spirit, we speak and pray without regard to who is watching or listening. We are in God and therefore with God. We can shine through God, with God, and in God, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, giving him glory and honor forever in the Light of the Risen Son. That is because the Light of Christ is no longer in the tomb. It now shines throughout all Creation. It was once unseen but expected. Now it is seen and accepted. Christ is alive; the Light of Life is restored to Earth. He is here in our midst (Matthew 28:20), always and all ways, returning to us in the Eucharist, our Holy Communion with Him.

The Risen Son is out of the tomb because the stone has been rolled away. The Light of Life has overcome the Darkness of Death. Because that Light is now perfectly and completely accessible to us, we no longer need to live in the shadow of the stones, the barriers, and the other things that block us out of the Light. Take the stone away! Let the Light in the tomb of your own flesh come out in union with the Spirit of Light, the Spirit of Love, which is the Spirit of Life Everlasting. Let your little light shine, Beloved! It is an integral part of you because it is an integral part of God, and you are created in His image. The indwelling of God’s Light in you is like a compound, not a mixture. It is inseparable from you. It is there, but you can hide it. You can deny it. You can fail to acknowledge it. You can attribute it to Gaia or The Force or The Universe. You can ignore it in yourself and others. It doesn’t matter. It is still there, and it still comes from God. Period.

This Light we have is there because it is God’s Light, God’s Life breathed into us, and God’s Love which makes us substantive, such that we experience a firm basis in reality and are therefore important, meaningful, or considerable in God’s heart. We are really real because God is really Real, and in Him, through Christ, with the Spirit, “we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28) We go where God goes when we go with God. That sounds perfectly logical but maybe a bit simplistic. Beloved, have any of us always gone with God? Have we not often gone away from or without Him, turned our back on Him, and covered up His Light and Love within us? Maybe the stone we need to roll away – or drop from our clenched hand – is the stone we are eager to hurl at another who has wronged us. If we are the vessel of His light and Love, then we must follow his commandment. We must love one another just as He has loved us.

That Command is powerful, and I guess you could say that the One who issued that Command is our Commander. To command is to order, to enjoin, and to direct action. A command is not a request or a suggestion. It is a lawful instruction issued by a leader. Christ’s lawful order for us to love one another as he has loves us is the fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets. The entire World is ordered to Love one another as He as Loved us. All who follow His Command are His companions, the people who go with Him as He Commands. We are Companions of the Lord because He has commanded us to love each other. If we love him, we will obey his commands (John 15:14), and we will love our companions, those others in the World who also follow his commands, and even love our enemies because He died for them, too. When we Love him, we are empowered to Love; because through obedience to Love others we fulfill our Love for Him. We live in our love through obedience – just as He did – and we love our companions in that obedience. You are my companions. You are on this Journey with me and I am on your Journey with you because together we all are His companions, His Beloved. You are, therefore, my Beloved, and in this I take great delight. We share joy, pain, meaning, love, faith, sorrow, Light and Life with one another. Jesus shared all of that, too; He shares it even now with all of us.

Last week we commemorated the moment in history when everything went from Darkness to Light. We remember the moment when He gave up everything he shares with us except Death. He did not “give up” Death. He defeated it! He went alone to become our completion so that we could forever be companions in loving obedience to his command. God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as if it was our own sacrifice. Because of Him I am not alone (Matthew 28:20 again). Because of Him, I have you; and that is why, like Him, you are my Beloved in the Lord. (Romans 16:8, Philippians 4:1)

Share-A-Prayer

For DL, AK, and others with Stage IV Cancers, pray that they and their Beloved family, friends, and prayer partners will grow in their faith in God’s promises for healing. Ask God to permit the healing and thus delay the departure of our companions, we pray to the Lord, “Jesus hear our humble prayer.”

For all the requests on the MBN site: We pray to the Lord “Jesus hear our humble prayer.” (Please follow the link and take a moment to view all the requests there. Add your own as well.)

For the many who died and the thousands whose lives were utterly disrupted by the hundreds of tornadoes that have raced across the Eastern half of the U.S. we pray that God will help them in their recovery, and that we – as their companions – will lend a hand to them as well. We pray to the Lord, “Jesus hear our humble prayer.”

Pray for the conversion of sinners everywhere. May we, through our obedience to Christ’s command to love one another, help them to nurture and cherish the spark of God’s Spirit that dwells in every living soul. We pray to the Lord, “Jesus hear our humble prayers.”

For TH, NA, CI, DM, KD and the hundreds of thousands of people who need meaningful work so they can support their families and take care of their Beloved companions, we pray to the Lord, “Jesus hear our humble prayers.”

For all the needs, prayers, and intentions we hold in our hearts, and for all the MBN, who are our companions, and our Beloved, we pray to the Lord, “Jesus, our Beloved Commander and Companion, hear our humble prayer.”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

He is always looking for new companions. Is He asking you to accept him as your beloved? I am asking you to do that.

An invitation like none other!

Come with us, Beloved.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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