The Words of the Yakawich Family
Preparing for the Change in 2007
In this sermon, I wish to address certain aspects of being prepared as CHANGING. Are we ready for the changes? Are we ready to change? In our Bible reading,
Romans 12: 1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be you transformed by their renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are encouraged to transform and renew our mind and our hearts. Since change is inevitable, let us change for the sake of God and goodness.
Change: Webster's Dictionary:
"to put or take in place of something else, substitute for, replace with or transfer to another of a similar kind, to give and receive reciprocally, exchange switch, to become different, alter, transform, convert, to leave on train, bus and board another, to put on other clothes, money returned as the difference between the price of something bought and the bill or coin of larger denomination given in payment,, becoming distinctly different, radical transmutation of character or replacement with something else.
Changeful: full of change,
Changeless: unchanging immutable
Changeling: a child secretly put in the place of another,
Change of life: menopause
Changeover: a complete change
Changer: a person or thing that changes something like a record changer
Change ringing: the act of ringing a series of different changes on a set of bells tuned together.
Change up: Baseball a pitch thrown with the same motion as another pitch, usually a fast ball, but with less speed.
There was talk of preachers using the Bible implying people should be rich or prosperous. Well, I say, why not! You love the Lord and you sacrifice, you deserve the blessings. It is easy to talk about not being rich when you are rich! Get ready for God to give you change. After all, Change can be a really good thing for people who do not have a lot of change.
There are three main points of changing I wish to bring up:
1. Pray and seek God's will in your change.
2. Ask and listen to others for counsel, suggestions and ideas on your change.
3. Change is not easy especially when you change to come closer to God's side…
you must make effort!
I was reading of Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives: Inspiration Stories of the Saints. It was sent to my family by my uncle, Brother Fredrick Frick, a Catholic Educator from the Order of Irish Christian Brothers. So many of these people were just like you and I. They were living fairly normal lives. Yet, God touched their lives to change.
St. Thomas Aquinas decided to become a poor priest. His brothers kidnapped him to change his mind. They tried to tempt him but his virtue was too strong. Another is St. Ambrose He was not a Christian but a lawyer and governor. During of church uprising and division, the people elected him Bishop of Milan. He settled the divisions and become Doctor of the Church.
To change is as the Bible says, to …present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
To change is to be transformed…"And be not conformed to this world but be you transformed by their renewing of your mind" To change to be more perfect in heart and mind: …"that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." To change is to ultimately be motivated to come closer to God. We change to become a better person. It is not easy to change. Yet, the real truth of this is when you change for God, YOU BENEFIT IN THE END! Your joy and happiness level increases as well. What you reap is what you will sow.
Of course, to change is to look at it in a positive way. Not to: Be inconsistent and always changing To be a turncoat and disloyal To alter your morals to a lower standard
You see, change to me can be good or bad. I am referring to good change. What is ultimately good change? What is a sign of good change? It is living an unselfish life. It is displaying an unselfish attitude and lifestyle. Why change? It is the tool to unselfish love. Unselfish love is the vehicle to true happiness. Let me demonstrate with this plastic sheet. Between me and my goal, lets say is my wife, my career, my relationship with others.
There is a spiritual wall that I must crossover to find ultimate satisfaction and joy. If I do not change, I remain on one side of this barrier which could be called despair, dissatisfaction, disappointment. When I change and become more unselfish, this is the tool for me to crossover, to be transformed and gain real hope and joy in my life.
As the Bible mentions, God too must beseech or encourage us to change. We need to surround ourselves with people who support us to change in a good way. People can be there to push us or pull us towards God and goodly change. I am very grateful for my wife. She is helping me to change. She sometimes uses perfume to change me and sometimes a hammer!
It is a good time to change: Matthew 9:16 "No man puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment and the rent is made worse.
This year ahead will be full of adventure and excitement. Yet, we are sure to be challenged to put in new wine skins … Matthew 9:17 "Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break and the wine runs out and the bottles perish but they put new wine into new bottles and bother are preserved.
We have the time to prepare for this … This is a great time to reflect and seek God's advice. Then, seek wisdom from those whom you respect and trust. Our change can in fact be miraculous. Our change can be as radical as a Transfiguration?
A radical change in appearance of... To become even more loving, more kind, more considerate, more prayerful, more of a study warrior … Hey, look he did a transfiguration!
Acts 6: 8 "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people"
Acts 6:12 "And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes and came upon him and caught him and brought him to the council."
Acts 6: 15 "And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel."
Esau to Jacob: Jacob realize that Esau had changed: in Genesis 33: 10 "And Jacob said, Nay, I pray thee, if now, I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand for therefore I have seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God and thou was pleased with me."
Would it not be so cool for us to see the change in others like this? Or for others to see us change in such a profound way? My wife could say, "Oh husband, how I can see the face of God in you." or she may say, "You are really such a sacrificial husband and father." Or your mom may say, "You are really becoming such a considerate and kind person." What a wonder sign of change!
So for all of us, change is inevitable. The change may be for some that they need to wear glasses. For others they need to use reading glasses. We change and that is often very good. We change to improve.
I remember crying when I had to wear glasses. It was hard. As I said, Godly change is especially difficult. That is why most people wish to stay content on their side of the spiritual barriers of life thinking this is how to achieve true joy. Yet, it is when we make greater efforts to cross over that we find God within us.
Father Moon's words talk about sacrifice, self denial, paying indemnity, fasting, giving before receiving and taking responsibility are means to achieve true change. He says that true love is living for the sake of others. Of course, these are not easy words.
What did Jesus say that the greatest love is to give one's life for another? Father Moon states, "Be strict with you in order to get rid of your fallen nature and evil habits." Yet, in all of this, what is the amazing point? It is in doing this, even when others are not or it seems such a lonely and difficult course, there is so much joy and happiness waiting for you on the other end.
Jesus said, the first shall be last and the last first. What you sow you shall reap. Doing unto others as you will have them do unto you reaps great benefits. Yes, it is contradictory to the world. The world says, don't you change first but change others! God says change yourself first and you will find happiness whether or not others change around you.
Now, I pray that you can prepare in these last months of 06 for Wonderful Changes in your life as 07 arrives!