Aloha Friday Message – September 15, 2006

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The most fundamental quality of God is his integrity. He is entirely singular, completely unique, ONE. HE IS as I AM WHO AM in all times and places, in all things and beings, in all dimensions known and unknown. We describe him as all-powerful, all-knowing, a saving God who reveals himself to us in so many ways that we are overwhelmed by his magnificent generosity, kindness, and, yes, his integrity — his faithfulness to his promises.

Because of this integrity, which is perfect, his justice is also perfect. In perfect justice, there is also perfect mercy, and because of that, God is also perfect love. The perfect love of God for us is also his most perfect gift. It cannot be bought or earned, contained or constrained, diminished or altered in any way. But it can be rejected, because God will not force us to accept his love. He allows us to choose it.

When we choose God’s love, we choose life. When we choose to share God’s love, we affirm life. When we choose to return God’s love, we share in His life, which is eternal. In this sharing there is the affirmation of the perfection of God’s plan for each of us. Part of that plan, which began the instant God said, “Let there be . . .,” is the incredible gift of eternal life with Him. Let us then choose the integrity of faith in God’s integrity. In Deuteronomy God told Israel:

I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.

These choices, available to us now, are mere shadows of the choices of those followers of God who have gone before us: The choices made by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the choices of our nation’s founding fathers, Mary’s choice at the Annunciation, and Jesus’ choice in his Passion. These are the choices point the way for us when we are the ones who have to choose. If we choose to emulate God’s integrity, that choice also brings to us his justice, his mercy, his love, his life, and more blessings than we can possibly comprehend.

We have heard it said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” Let it also be said, “If you want justice, live with integrity,” for in that way, we will be living as Jesus commanded us: “Commit yourself to live with consummate integrity and justice as does your Father in Heaven.” (Mat 5:48)

In Micah 6:8, God speaks plainly to us when he says:

He has showed you, O Man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you? Only this: To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

When we walk humbly with God, we walk in, we live in, and we become His Kingdom. We are the Kingdom of God, and that is where we belong. Recall that when Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph searched for him for three days. When they found him they asked him, “Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” Jesus replied, “But why did you need to search? You should have known that I would be in my Father’s house.” (NLT: Luke 2:48-49)

Jesus wasn’t lost. He knew where he was, and he knew he was supposed to be there. So many of us today feel lost and alone and we are busy looking for ourselves in The World. Jesus knows where we belong, and he calls us to follow him there. He is The WAY. He is THE TRUTH. He is THE LIFE. Even those closest to him in his life on Earth had difficulty understanding how they could be with him despite the fact that he was going away. They lacked the humility needed to respect and understand the integrity shared by Jesus with his Father. Because of this, they continued to believe that they could not understand what Jesus was telling them:

NLT John 14:1 “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me.
2 There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.
3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
4 And you know where I am going and how to get there.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
7 If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!”

We know who he is. We have seen him. We love him because we know he has loved us with an everlasting love. In humility then, we address our prayers to God:

Father, we worship you as One in the Love of the Spirit and the Son.
Jesus, we honor you as Lord by all of Heaven and Earth adored.
Spirit, we love you as our Friend and giver of Love and Gifts without end.

We thank and praise you, God, for all of your blessings. We thank you for our lives, our work, our homes, and our families. These, and many more, are the Blessings we can see. Today, Lord, we are also deeply grateful for the thousands of blessings and gifts we never know about, but which sustain us in every endeavor. It is through this constant stream of Grace that we come to know you and to know the Joy of walking in the light of your Presence. Today we, your children, honor the Giver of all good Gifts. In our gratitude we in turn offer you the gift of our lives as well as the lives of those we love. Bless and approve this offering, make it holy and acceptable, and offering of adoration, thanksgiving, and praise.

Almighty, Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we worship and adore you. Enlighten, guide, strengthen, and console us. Teach us your will, and then empower and inspire us to do it, for in humility we choose to be submissive and obedient to you in all that you ask of us and all that you allow to happen to us. Only make your will known, and grant us the graces necessary to faithfully follow you to the place you have prepared for us. We ask you this in the name of Jesus, The Christ, our Lord who lives and reigns with God the Father Almighty in the unity and power of the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. AMEN.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, beloved.

chick

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About Chick Todd

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

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