Aloha Friday Message – December 13, 2015 – Aloha Friday Building Clinic

1550AFC121315 – Aloha Friday Building Clinic

Read it online here, please. (Use the links for the best outcome.)

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

“It’s been in interesting week in Lake Wobegon.” So begins one of our family’s favorite features on the PBS Program, Prairie Home Companion. It’s been an interesting week here in Kapaʽa, too. Our Goddaughter, Lily Mae, had her hula recital. We watched the musical Mary Poppins – TWICE! Because it was fabulous, is why. And we started the Jubilee year of Mercy. Pretty great week!

RejoiceAlwaysThis week we also celebrated the Immaculate Conception, a feast day not all that well understood (or attended) by many Catholics, and barely conceptualized by non-Catholics. What many people fail to understand is that the dogma of The Immaculate Conception isn’t about Gabriel visiting Mary to ask if she would carry Jesus the Son of God in her womb. It is about the special privilege given to Mary to be free from original sin from the moment of her conception – a conception which was normal in every way except that God allowed for Mary to experience Salvation through Jesus before his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. It is good to remember that in this year of Mercy, because that Child of Mary is the Biggest and Bestest Act of MERCY ever! Thinking of that brings back memories for me.

I recall a few years back our Associate Pastor, Fr. Robbie Deka, delivered a homily that began with reminiscences about watching the TV show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition. He reminded us of the emotions we feel as we see someone’s home transformed into something amazing and then the big impact that comes after the crowd shouts, “Bus driver! MOVE THAT BUS!” as the family tours their new digs; we empathize with them as they find delight after delight.

Sometimes the house is just gutted and totally refurbished inside. Other times, the old house is razed and a new one constructed in its place. Whatever the case, the makeover is extreme. It takes a lot of workers about a week to totally transform one house. If that was being done only by Ty, the host, it would take … way too long for television!! Jesus can do the same for us. Sometimes he just cleans everything out and builds it back up again. Other times, he gets rid of all the old and replaces it will all-new. And with Jesus, there’s no limit to the number of times you can have an Extreme Makeover, either.

As we prepare for Christmas Celebrations, we too are invited to consider an Extreme Makeover. Many times that’s going to take at least a little remodeling in one part of our lives or another. Sometimes it takes an extensive renovation of everything but the exterior of our lives. Other times, sadly, it means starting over from scratch and rebuilding everything. At times we wish we could do an Extreme Makeover on the whole world – or at least our own neighborhood. But, most of the time that’s out of our sphere of influence. Mostly, we need to tackle things we can handle ourselves, or with the help of a few friends and wise counselors.

This passage is part of the second reading for this coming Sunday. Next Sunday is the third of the four Sundays. It has been called Gaudete Sunday in times past because the introit (entrance hymn) comes from our verse for today Gaudete in Domino semper, Rejoice in the Lord Always, and sometimes the vestments are Rose or Pink. It is a Sunday when we are reminded to REJOICE because the Victory has been won through what started in Bethlehem. Yes, we are at war, and yes we must keep going, but YES we can also rejoice for we know already that the outcome will be something good for all mankind, and we will have been part of that.

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18)”

We see WAR all around the world and it is in sharp contrast to this season preparing for and commemorating the birth of Jesus. We see unprecedented natural disaster, atrocious crimes, staggering poverty, rampant disease, and we wonder, “What can I do about that? It’s more than I can handle!” We have been violated by an enemy – again – and there is a lot of strident rhetoric about how to respond. Perhaps we as a Nation are being called upon to go for an Extreme Makeover.

When we watch Extreme Makeover on TV we notice that there is always a plan, a blueprint, and a way to get the work coordinated. The workers are happy and motivated because they are making a difference, and Extreme difference, in the life of at least one family.

The plan involves figuring out where to start and what to keep, the blueprint directs the builders on how to change things, and the work is coordinated by a team of experienced and skilled workers who willingly get to the job at hand.

Paul has a suggestion for those kinds of situations, great or small, and it is wonderfully simple, It is the plan, the blueprint and the workforce all rolled into one: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

The Plan? Rejoice always. The Blueprint? Pray without ceasing. The workforce: A thankful people – or person – using the blueprint to implement the plan. God has a plan, and even though a certain serpent sullied it in The Beginning, the blueprint and the workforce were already prepared. The blueprint? The promise of Salvation. The workforce? The Son of God – “The Boss’s Kid.”

And so, beloved, if you find you need to do a little remodeling, or a more extensive renovation, or even a complete build-over, open your User’s Manual (the B.I.B.L.E.) and learn how to use the tools the Master Builder and Architect of the Universe has provided for you. Here’s the basic concept upon which we can make our decisions: A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” That should be enough to get anyone started.

Beloved PRAY. Here’s one you’ve seen before. Philippians 4:6-8:  Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

And if that’s still not enough to get you started, sing Let There Be Peace on Earth.” ) ← (Music Link!) The concept comes highly recommended. Recall the Herald Angels’ Song: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” (Luke 2:14)

PRAY for one another. Pray for your friends, pray for your family (especially if they are not your friends!). Pray for the World. Pray. Pray. Pray! We are at war. Get on your knees and fight (From the Song by Petra) ← (Music Link!) Pray for our politicians, too!

Here are some other locations where you can read about today’s message:

https://www.aloha-friday.org/archives/550

https://www.aloha-friday.org/archives/864

https://www.aloha-friday.org/archives/1277

https://www.aloha-friday.org/archives/1530

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

Please also be sure to pray for Peace in families besieged by war, terrorism, infidelity, strife, violence, addiction, doubt, and sin. Look for ways to be merciful. Need a reminder? Here you go!

 

Corporal Acts of Mercy
feed the hungry
give drink to the thirsty
clothe the naked
shelter the homeless
visit the sick
visit the imprisoned
bury the dead
Spiritual Acts of Mercy
counsel the doubtful
instruct the ignorant
admonish sinners
comfort the afflicted
forgive offenses
bear wrongs patiently
pray for the living and the dead

 

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!
Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

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About Chick Todd

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

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