Aloha Friday Message – June 22, 2007

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The Question: So how was your trip to the mainland?
The Answer: More business than vacation, but still filled with many pleasant moments. The business part involved moving our daughter and her family from a disaster apartment to a nice little house. It took quite a bit of doing and there were a lot of surprises along the way, many of them not very pleasant. Nonetheless, the task was accomplished, and we are all hopeful it will make a positive difference.

The wonderful moments were those spent with friends. We spent a couple of evenings with our dear friend from Dineh Tah (Navajo Country) and her husband and hanai-daughter. They drove hundreds of miles into Phoenix just to visit with us. We were so honored by this. Another wonderful evening was spent with our “longest friend.” We first met in 1975! And all these years later we can sit down together and eat scrumptious fish tacos, tasty gazpacho, and fabulous berry pie and talk for hours; the best topic we covered was HOPE. More on that later. Another great afternoon – Fathers Day – was enjoyed at the house of our “Polish extended family” out east of Apache Junction. More good food, more long conversations filled with laughter, and great fun for Willie in their pool. We wrapped it up with Crucita’s good-buddy from Mesa Jr. High. They were cosponsors of the Student Counsel, and we enjoy her family and appreciate their hospitality.

Father’s Day we also took advantage of the opportunity to go to one of my favorite churches in the Phoenix Metro Area: St. Maria Goretti Church is Scottsdale. It is beautiful inside and the members of that parish have a special spirit about them that makes one feel very close to Our Lady and her Son. The lesson that week was about King David and the message he received after he murdered Uriah because he had given in to his lust for Uriah’s wife. God forgave him his sin, but he still had to live with the consequences. The gospel was the story of the woman who came to the house of Simon the Pharisee and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and anointed his feet with ointment. In both of these accounts the focus was on the content of the character, and the character of that content.

The content of Jesus’ character is humble love. The same is true for the woman who washed and anointed his feet. Simon and David, though, did not approach love from humility. They approached it from pride. David’s pride led to the selfish decision to remove Uriah as the obstacle between him and his lust. Simon’s pride led him to judge Jesus and the woman. (“If he were truly a prophet, he’d know who and what sort of woman this is.”) Simon though he was better than both of them. Simon perhaps never knew what humble love is. David repented (maybe Simon did too, we don’t know), and did eventually learn the power of humble love.

Humble love can be visualized like this: As Jesus carried the cross to Calvary, the entire world was on his back and he carried all of it to God his Father. This is Love unto the very end. Many martyrs have loved humbly unto the end. Many parents have loved unto the end despite tragic consequences for their children. Humble love unto the end is a gift of Grace, and that gift is the seed from which hope sprouts and bears fruit. Hope comes from humble love because hope is neither selfish nor proud. Indeed, hope is selfless and humble. Remember that old aphorism “Where there’s life there’s hope.”? Well, where there is hope, there is also peace because true hope is always the same, always faithful, never broken by greed, or pride, or any other evil. Many seek hope in religion like Simon the Pharisee. Religion can show us the effects of humble love until the end, but only hope can help us live like that. Humble love seeks only to give love because love that is freely given always returns, and that is a lot to hope for.

My hope for you today is that you will know you are freely loved in ways that surpass all understanding, and that is a love so great that it can’t help but engender greater hope.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved. You are always with me.

chick

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About Chick Todd

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

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