Aloha Friday Message – July 27, 2018 – A Heart’s Desire

1830AFC072718 – A Heart’s Desire

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  Psalm 145:16 16 You open your hand,
satisfying the desire* of every living thing.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Are you well today? Are you happy today? Are you wealthy today? Are you delighted today? Do you posses all that you desire today? Are you unwell today? Are you unhappy today? Are you disappointed today? Do you lack anything that you desire today? What do you, do I, do we desire and how to we acquire and/or squander those things? Let’s begin by looking at the Scriptural idea of desire: *In this passage it is רָצֽוֹן׃ (rā-ṣō-wn) {raw-tsone’} meaning that which is acceptable, delightful, pleasurable, that which our will anticipates, favorable, that which fully satisfies, the completion of fulfillment.

Today’s Key Verse is the Psalmist’s reminder to us that everything is in God’s control; he has his hand in every thought, word, deed, and need. This passage is one of those instances where the Omnibenevolence of God is acknowledged and praised. Because it speaks of “desire” and “heart” in a single breath, it is often tied to this passage:

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires** of your heart.

**In this passage the word for desire is מִשְׁאֲלֹ֥ת (miš-’ă-lōṯ) from (mishalah) {mish-aw-law’} meaning request, petition, desire, want, need, yearning, aspiration. Both of these passages describe the merciful kindness of God as he generously gives us everything we need. Perhaps like me you have learned that sometimes I cannot make room for the things I need because I am holding on too tightly to the things I want.

From Psalm 119:4You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently – which I had heard many times, I eventually came to understand that “my heart’s desire” did not properly come from within my heart; it was placed within my heart by God. When I made enough room in my life for God to load me up with his gifts, he did not give me – has not given me, will not give me – the things my imagination craves because those things are usually not good for me. Instead, if I get rid of the junk, he places a treasure in me and invites me to use it. In short, if I walk the talk, I get the fullness of his bounteousness. If our hearts desire what we need, all our needs are always fully met.

Not long ago I came across a statement attributed to Frank Sinatra. I feel it probably came from St. Augustine or St. Vincent de Paul, but I haven’t been able to locate it that way. Frank allegedly said, “If you possess something but you can’t give it away, then you don’t possess it – it possesses you.” This reminds me of one of my favorite “Little One-Liners”: Life is our greatest treasure because it is given to us expressly for the purpose of losing it, and how well we do that is what makes all the difference.

When we get to the point where it finally dawns on us that all – yes ALL – of the gifts we accept from God are meant to be given away and that all the gifts we accept from the World are meant to be hoarded, then we are mature enough to realize that we have to find our happiness in our needs being met, not in our wants being gratified. So many times we hear, “If you have your health, that’s everything.” Yet, how many of us are satisfied with health as our only possession? Beyond that, how many of us can actually claim to have our health? Honestly, how many people do we know who are perfectly (OK, nearly-perfectly) healthy? If that’s everything, does that mean that those of us who do not have our health have nothing? Of course it doesn’t mean that! “What would it mean for you to win this competition?” “It would mean everything. It would mean the world to me. It would mean my life is finally changing for the better.” They don’t ask you, “What would it mean to you to lose this competition?” because no one wants to know what another loser feels like; we all know how it feels to be lost, or at a loss, or to lose something / anything / everything. Losing is as much a part of life as dying; BUT you do not lose anything you give away!

If it is your heart’s desire to be generous, you will receive your heart’s desire by being generous, not by being greedy. If it is your heart’s desire to have everything you what, you will have your heart’s desire by wanting everything you have. If it is your heart’s desire to be healthy, you will receive your heart’s desire by living healthily in hope – even if you are chronically ill. How can that be? All of us who are chronically ill know that one day we will be completely healed; it may not be made manifest in this world, but we know it is already manifested in the next! What is it we want in this World? In my experience, I think the Psalmist said it best in Psalm 73:25 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you. What if God was and is and always will be our only desire? Wouldn’t everything else be “icing on the cake?” Wouldn’t that be Abundance on top of Plenty?

And what is this Abundance? What is this promise God is making? Is it all the material, physical, momentary, monetary, temporary, short-lived things we work so hard all our lives to acquire? Of course not! The Abundance is The Kingdom of God present in and through Christ Jesus. Christ and Heaven are ours without any indebtedness. We owe God nothing for this abundant Grace, this gift of absolute satisfaction and contentment that satisfies our hunger and quenches our thirst far, far beyond our expectations. It is the Rich Abundance of HIS Righteousness.

  Those who are satisfied with what the World has to offer do not respond to this call from God. They neither hunger nor thirst for righteousness – virtues, morality, decency, honesty; all these are commodities which could be used to buy worldly products, goods, services, and comforts. Instead, they accumulate that which is unrighteous and ultimately useless because “you can’t take it with you.” They have no expectation of anything greater than what they can possess. Even love itself becomes a possession that can be bought and sold, withheld, decorated, abused, and discarded. Everything is disposable. Only what-they-want-next has value. Everything they have has been bought with a price. And they fail to realize that they, too, have been bought with a price, and should not become slaves to the World. (See 1 Corinthians 7:23)  Thus inclined, they reject God’s offer of abundance, joy, and everlasting happiness. They have what they think they need because they have taken what they want. Don’t be like them. When you go out into the World, go to give away Christ to everyone you meet instead of meeting everyone to see what they will give you. This especially applies to your “Church Life.”

As our dear friend, Fr. Chuck Faso, says “When we exit the church, we enter the World. The signs in the church above the door could say ENTRANCE. We ‘go in Peace to serve the Lord and each other.'” We are sent at the end of every church service – Mass or otherwise – to take the peace from our visit with God, the teaching we received, and the energy from the nourishment of Word and Eucharist and to share all of that with the World. The purpose of that sharing is to take invitations to everyone who has not come into the Kingdom of God. We share what-we-have-become when we feed on the Word and on the Christ. It is the rest (peace and comfort) of the story (our life in God). We cherish the sacrament of nourishment so much that we cannot help but want to share it – if indeed we partake of it fully. What we share through our gifts to others and to the Church becomes the treasure laid up for us in Heaven. It is returned to us in full measure, shaken down, pressed together, and filled to overflowing (See Luke 6:38). The measure of return is God’s measure, better than ours, because his is always more generous. What he returns to us is always better than we can imagine, better than we deserve, and more than we can hold; it just flows out onto the people around us. No matter what trials we have, the blessings we receive make the trials seem more manageable by comparison.

What are our heart’s desires worth if they do not find satisfaction in knowing, loving, and serving God and each other? God’s hand is opening – not because of what we desire, but because of what HE desires. He desires that we should know that we have everything that is acceptable, delightful, pleasurable, all that which our will anticipates, whatever is favorable, and that which fully satisfies; in short, the completion of fulfillment. We are blessed with everything we need to the point of affluent abundance – our cups overflow and our desires are satisfied. God gives every living thing – from starfish to grass to old fuddy-duddies – everything they need to survive. For God’s earthlings he goes a step beyond if we but Commit our way to the Lord; trust in him and remember his precepts [are] to be kept diligently. Then we will have the desires of our heart because we desire only what we need.

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

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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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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Biblical languages inserts from Bible Hub (Bible Hub: Search, Read, Study the Bible in Many Languages) Visit at http://biblehub.com

 

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About Chick Todd

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

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