Beads of Joy 07-10-10
Deny You and Follow Him
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Wow, is this exciting or what. I know I always say, "this is my favorite verse", "this is my favorite words from Jesus" and I can go on and on. But I have to say it today. See today's gospel Matthew 16:24-27 (The Conditions of Discipleship). And one of my favorite series of verses straight from our Lord is today's reading. This is an excellent summary of exactly what we need to be doing in this life. To me this simplifies and answers the question, "What must I do to follow Jesus?" The answer is really simple, but another question is brought to the light immediately after we consider that question, "How much do you really believe and trust in Jesus?" Ah, see without that faith, the answer about following Him becomes irrelevant. Why would you follow someone you don't believe nor trust? See now we are digging deeper into the real questions at hand. But the wonderful exciting part of digging more into this is that once you get all your ducks in a row. You can have a duck parade. What??? OK, just goofing with excitement. Get everything straight in your head and in your heart, and then forge forward devoting everything you have and that you are to Him, He who has died for you.
The reward that Jesus has there for us in eternity in Heaven with Him, He paid the price to attain it for us; so must we if we will indeed follow Him. He alone died for me (and you), so that I (we) may live; so I (you) must die also to yourself, so that I (we) to may live eternally with Him. We have been given the Holy Spirit, and through the power of the Holy Spirit we will have the strength and courage to press forward and follow Jesus, no matter what anybody says. Can anyone see the excitement I see in today's scripture. OK, I can't hold it back anymore, here is the scripture, let us look it over and read it together: Matthew 10:24-27 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." WOW !!! See what I mean, this is one of the many reasons I am so excited about our faith.
I know by seeing the scripture right here in front of our eyes, it makes it so much easier to absorb the power in it. Do you see the part I made bold? That part alone for me is one of the many secret gems our Lord has given to us. Living a very unselfish life, in other words losing our life and offering it up to our Lord, will inevitably be saving their own life in the end. If I were to ask you this: What would you consider the best investment, the most important long term investment you can make in your life? What would you say? So many people we all know (celebrites, people in business, etc) who were extremely wealthy, are dead today. I have family members, including my grandfather who just recently passed away two weeks ago, who died and left one to three million plus behind. Yes these people invested well, they were smart, they were frugal, they knew how to make their money work for them. They worked very hard their whole life, they deserve it. So is the secret in Proctor & Gamble stocks, or Microsoft stocks? What ??? NO.. What if I were to tell you the best long term investment you can in your life has nothing at all to do with money, what would you say to me? Aside from saying that I am crazy. LOL. See the world will always invest in the world, that of only which it only knows, itself.
We Christians do the same if we allow it, in our own way, if we are aware of it. We know Jesus who died for us, and He gave us the Holy Spirit which resides in us. One part of the Trinity, one part of Almight God, one part of Jesus rests in everyone of us. My Word people, get up on the table and start dancing and singing to the top of your lungs. We are so fortunate to have such a loving caring God that He has instilled in each of us, a piece of himself. Look at the verse following the one I have in bold, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Everything we have comes from God. We owe Him our gratitude and love, period. God don't allow people to become successful so they can hoard all there treasures and selfishly take care of themselves, go on trips, buy expensive cars. God gave them success so they can help those around them suffering. Another scripture that spins off this one and says it all is Luke 12:15-21(Parable of The Rich Fool). Please read that, it's very insightful. This man was so focused on himself, and his wealth. Who knows maybe he had family and friends around him suffering, dying or whatever, this parable shows no concern for anyone but himself. What a foolish man indeed. God will judge his greed. No where in scripture does it tell us to hoard all you can and let those around you suffer and struggle while you watch them. Wealthy people out there, pray this simple prayer, "Jesus, I trust in You" and allow God to open your heart. The more that you give away, the more God will give you and bless you.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO