Beads of Joy 05-02-10
Love Others First Always
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Easter. A new and final farewell commandment is being presented to us today. Sunday's are always fantastic and wonderful, a day devoted and spent praising Jesus. Whoever came up with this "Sunday" idea was a genius. LOL! Though all seven days should be technically treated the same. Today's gospel can be found in John 13:31-35 (Jesus' Farewell Command). We learn so much from our Lord, we can see that Jesus is teaching us how much joy can be found in offering up our life, and becoming a sacrifice for others. It's a tough pill to swallow no doubt. I think it really needs to be a very instilled part of who we are to accept it. I am not a saint by no means, and I don't want a pat on the back. But after 27 years Jesus, and scripture and the rosary in my life. I would instinctively put anothers life before my own to save theirs. And I'm not only talking about family and close friends. Anybody !! I know I haven't always felt this way, but the more my spiritual life matures and the closer I feel like I am getting to Jesus, the more ready, willingly and able I feel that way.
How much more can God do to show us how much He loves us? By Him allowing His only Son to be crucified and killed for our sins to save us; it's just beyond anything anyone else would ever do for love. So today we seem to be reflecting on "unselfishness". Now that's a word you don't hear to often in today's world. Unselfishness is all about loving others before yourself. I think we as Catholics need to be living this part of our life more openly and obvious. Not to fall into the sin of pride, or wait to hear trumpets saluting our kindness and love; but to be able to show everyone that we are Christians. How's that song go, "They will know we are Christians by our love.." So let us live a life just like that. Jesus needs to be the first person they see, when they see us. There's a story Fr. Larry Richards shares, I apologize for not having all the exact details, but here's the gist of the story. There was an American man in a concentration camp, and he was sharing a cell with a Japanese man. Well the Japanese man was treated harshly and beat almost to death each day, because he was on America's side in the war. Well the American sharing the cell each night use to clean up the Japanese mans wounds and help feed him. Towards the end the American knew the Japanese man wasn't going to make it through the night, and he wanted to share Jesus with him. When he did, the Japanese man said, "If this Jesus you are speaking of is anything like you, I want to know him." They will know we are Christians by our love !!!!
We can do it, I know we can. By God's grace and mercy, we can live that kind of a life everyday. This past week we learned so much about the Holy Spirit that dwells inside all of us. There is a part of us, that is of God. Let us bring out that part and let it shine for all to see. Let me refer to an absolute favorite movie of mine, I can say this entire movie, verbatim, no lie, ask anyone in my home. Am I a sick individual or what. LOL. I must have watched this movie thousands of times over the past 25 years, and I still watch it, I just love the message. You all remember "It's a Wonderful Life", well in this particular scene after George Bailey's dad (Peter Bailey) died, there was a meeting at the Building and Loans, and George said this to Mr Potter, "Just a minute, now hold on, just a minute, now you are right to say my father was no businessman, I know that. Why he ever started this cheap penny ani business and loan I'll never know. But either you or anybody else can say anything about his character, because his whole life was... why in the 25 years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought about himself, ain't that right Uncle Billy.." his speech was much longer, this was one of my favorite scenes. George is standing up defending his father's honor, speaking of his unselfish ways that he lived his life. Telling Mr. Potter that his father died a much richer man than he'll ever be.
Wouldn't we all want to be such a dynamic example for our kids, our family, our friends, our community. Being unselfish isn't easy, but it can be if we try. It's really a simple concept. Let's say you're going out to pickup a few things for the house, you grab the list on the refrigerator, and before you go, you say, "Does anybody need or want anything?" You know when you go, the chances are when you are at the store, you may end up picking up something, you needed or wanted for yourself. So now instead of that good deed of shopping turning into a chance for you to also shop for yourself, turn the experience around and make it also a trip to grab some things for others first. See this "unselfishness" thing isn't really all that hard to incorporate into our lives. I have spoken about living the life of J.O.Y., Jesus first, Others second, You last. I believe in it dearly. I am a very simple man, with a very low maintenance life, you can be this way to. I find so much joy living this way. The world does not revolve around me, I know that. Now all we have to do is live that. Here are some helpful scriptures, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10, "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO