Aloha Friday Message – February 8, 2019 – Get Going!

1906AFC020819 – Get Going and Go where I send thee! (↔ Music Link)

Read it online here, please. (And be sure to use that Music Link up there!)

Mark 16:15-16 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika’i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!) Let me begin by saying how much I look forward to making these little messages for you. I think it’s one of the most satisfying things I do on a regular basis – more fulfilling even than cooking and eating (and that’s saying something!). As I looked ahead to this weekend’s reading, I remembered that not long ago I shared with you my delight in the collection of readings for this week. All four are among my most-cherished scriptural treasures! In addition, as I prepared for this week, our family had a unique experience. In our Parish, we are “making a big deal” about National Catholic Marriage Week. Crucita and I believe it is so important that married couples – and especially couples planning on getting married – understand that sacramental intent and value of Matrimony. We had a wonderful celebration with members of our church community and Crucita and I were selected as one of two long-married couples to address the audience that night. We will be hitting number 50 in April. The other couple will be reaching their 57th in March! I’ve posted our presentation online so you could see how Crucita and I chose to start our marriage as a Christ-centered commitment to each other and to God through the Vocation of Holy Matrimony. You can see that presentation here.

As always, I want to encourage you to use the links I put in (that music link at the top is a classic in Television History). There are several GREAT music links. Use them, please? So, there’s the latest news. Let’s get going with the Good News. I confess a substantial amount of this comes from a previously published message, but I also proclaim that my excitement and joy over the content has only grown and the content is improved!

    This Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays because it has so many of my favorite passages. We start out with Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!

I always liked that. It was, in a special way, part of my decision to give my life to “Full Time Christian Service” at age 10 at Camp IdRaHaJe – which is an abbreviation for “I’d Rather Have Jesus.” (↔ Music Link) Later – in high school – I thought I had a calling to the Ministry in the Reformed Church in America. Long story short, one thing led to another, the Draft happened, and that idea faded away in that form, but persisted in a way God had chosen for me before my mother knew me. (Think about last week’s Key Verse.) The message for that calling was “Preach my Word.” Once I was in the Air Force, I was led to my conversion in the Catholic Church. Just two weeks after my first fully Catholic day, I married the love of my life – Crucita – and not long after, the message in the call became “Teach my Word.” I’m still working on that directive.

The Psalm this week is Psalm 138. It is my all-time-favorite Psalm. The first two verses are filled with wonderful praise:

Psalm 138:1 I thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
    in the presence of the angels to you I sing. New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I like that part about singing in the presence of the Angels. It reminds me of Psalm 22:3 which says that God “inhabits the praises of his people.” The rest of the Psalm is so reassuring. God will surely hear the cry of the suffering.

The Epistle for this Sunday is one that steadies me with grateful conviction. It is a continuation of the readings from 1 Corinthians, this time in chapter 15, just a few pages over from where we were last week in 1 Corinthians 13. Paul is describing how he received the Gospel, “as to one born abnormally,” when Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. 1 Corinthians 15:10 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. This verse always reminds me that I have not yet worked as hard as I should, or as hard as I can, on behalf of the Gospel. I am what I am by the grace of God, though, and he constantly challenges me to be a better steward of the many, many gifts he has presented me in my life. There is absolutely no logical reason why he should be so gracious to me; and yet, the Gifts he showers down are beyond my understanding.

    As we move to this week’s Gospel from Luke, we take a look at Luke’s version of the calling of the fishermen – Peter and the Sons of Zebedee, James and John. He’s directed Peter to cast his net in deep water for a catch. Peter gets a little snarky and says, “We’ve been fishing all night, but if you say so, I’ll do it.” And when he hauls the net back, it’s so full he has to call the bar Zebedee brothers to help him bring it in. Peter – and everyone else (except Jesus of course) – is astonished at the size of the catch. Peter is so spooked he says, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Then we read in Luke 5:10b-11 Then Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people.” 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him. That is the basis for the wonderful Bible chorus “I will make you Fishers of Men.” (↔ Music Link) More importantly, is demonstrates how to best respond to a call from The Master: … they left everything and followed him.

By the time Jesus was ready to ascend back to Heaven, the Apostles were better prepared to follow Jesus’ next instructions. Instead of “follow me,” his new command was what we read in Mark at the top of this post: Mark 16:15-16 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”  (YOLO-F again) You may remember it as “proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” However you remember it, the important thing is that we are to go “into all the world.” It is also important to remember that it is we who do the going and God who does the sending. Belovéd, we often forget that order of events. We are all sent to proclaim the Good News. That duty is inherent in our response to his call – “Follow me.” Will we? Will we follow him? I will follow him (↔ Music Link) because by the grace of God, I am what I am.” And what am I?

I’m a people-catcher. One of my most joyous avocations is the desire and ability to look for and to find exceptional people and then GLOW on them! I got caught up in his net of Love, and when he asked “whom shall I send,” the Love in me and around me said “Me! Me!  Pick me!  I know!” That’s a more contemporary version of “Here am I; send me!”  It’s plain to me that I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Anything, because he did pick me; and then he sent me. I want you to just take a moment to look at these words that are translated as send:

John 20:21 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent* me, so I send you.”

* Jesus was sent as in ἀποστέλλω (apostelló) {ap-os-tel’-lo} from apó, “away from” and stéllō, “send”) – properly, send away, i.e. commission; (passive) “sent on a defined mission by a superior;” to bid something to be carried to another. Jesus sent the Apostles as in πέμπω (pempō) {pem’-po} – I send, transmit, permit to go, put forth. In Romans 10:15 (see link below), Paul uses apostelló. We are sent – yep, that’s a “we” meaning you and I – we are sent that they might believe. It is vitally important, then, that we know what we believe. How do we learn that? By feasting on the Word. It is my privilege and joy to send along these little “travelers’ snacks” along The Way.

But what about that last phrase in the quote from Mark? Isn’t that kind of a downer? Why would Jesus say, “but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”? Let’s take another look at The Most Famous Bible Verse in context: John 3:16-18 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” THAT is why we are sent; that is the urgency with which we are charged. The Apostle Paul sums up that responsibility very nicely in his letter to the Romans:

Romans 10:14-17 14 But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? 15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are *sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. What have we heard? Is it the voice of the Master? Are we worthy of being sent?

All three of the persons in today’s readings felt they were unworthy, argued they were incapable of doing what God required of them. All three of them were willing, however, to “let go and let God.” We are often reminded over social media, in homilies and sermons, and in our own observations of day-to-day life that “God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” As Catholics are reminded daily, we need only accept The Healing Word as we paraphrase Matthew 8:8Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. I can hear my Savior calling, (↔ Music Link) and I’m asking you to walk along with me through the Garden. Can you hear him? It’s not just me he wants. He wants everyone, especially the unworthy. It’s a LOVE thing! Where in your life is there someone waiting to hear the Word from you, children? Go, children! You are sent! (And as you saw in that video with Tennessee Ernie Ford, going can be a LOT of fun!) Come on, let’s say it together:

Here am I! Send me!” (↔ Music Link) LET’S GET GOING, THEN!

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

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

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.

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

 

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About Chick Todd

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

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