Beads of Joy 08-16-10
Sell Everything And Follow Me
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Another sparkle of Joy to share with you today. I simply love the Parables Jesus taught us. Today's parable is a common one, many people have heard this one. Today we are reflecting upon Matthew 19:16-22 (The Rich Young Man). You know many seem to think sometimes, that Jesus condemned the rich and He always seemed to say they weren't going to Heaven. But if you do take the time and seriously read and understand what it is Jesus was saying; you will find that it is the influence the "wealth" had on the wealthy. There is nothing wrong with having wealth, in fact it is a blessing; the problem is what happens to those with such a blessing. Charity isn't putting a dollar in the collection plate, even the poor are more giving than that. It's really a mind set when you think about it. I have been there to some degree in the past, and spending never seemed to end; because the income was consistent, reliable and high. The wealth factor of always seeing money leave one hand while the other is receiving more. What an incredible sense of power and invincibility.
Do you see where this is all going? Wealth has this tendency to create many attitudes because of the way it dominates your life. For starters you feel a sense of security; all of your bills are paid, mortgage paid, gas in your cars, food on your table. Now I must tell you, that is wonderful having all those good feelings about those necessities met; the problem is the mindset of being secure in your trusting in Jesus is gone. Your wealth has taken the place of Jesus in your heart. Then wealth tends to feed and fuel pride, which fuels our indulgences and a sense of power. It's not easy to explain, but some of us have been there. Well I guess actually we are all there every once in a while. Think of those moments say when you take the money out of your holiday account for Christmas, or you have been blessed with a gift of say two thousand dollars cash. There is something magically dangerous about that excited feeling when we initially see a large roll of cash. It gives us a certain feeling that we can do anything now. I don't know if this is making sense to everyone. If you have never been on the opposite sides of both spectrum's you may not be able to grasp this.
There is a reason why scripture says, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:10. In my mind and spirit I believe in the heart of many of our faith filled people, there should be a sense of caution with money and wealth and success to some degree; especially when we are weak in the temptations we face each day. Because after all, what is it that sometimes is the key factor that holds so many back; from say doing drugs, paying for prostitutes, drinking everyday endlessly? The lack of money is the best deterrent from many of these indulgences. There is a larger percentage of wealthy people who have drug problems, why? It's mostly because it's a very expensive daily addiction. We always hear about celebrities in rehab, and if you see many of their interviews; so many through the years have said, there was so much money, it was so easy. Money gives you the power, the strength, the attitude that make you think you are invincible.
The one thing this young man was missing was the single most important, most powerful, most essential part of what he needed in his life. Jesus!! This young man was blinded in what it was Jesus was really asking of him. We all have heard the statement, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." That is actually scripture, Acts 20:35. Throughout scripture Jesus talks about surrendering, sacrifice, not looking back, others first. The glory in this life is all about being like and seeking out Jesus. By doing that you have not allowed the shackles of this world to grab us. It is easier for us to not allow the things this world to capture our hearts. Just look around, success, money, wealth; it is promoted far more than sacrifice, giving and humility. Being a Catholic, a follower of Jesus doesn't mean we must be poor. It's really all about stewardship. What is it that we do with what we have? and what is we don't do with what we have? All we can do is pray for those entangled in and over powered by their love and desire for a sense of security in their wealth. Let us pray to Jesus asking Him for guidance and direction, let Him know, "Jesus, I trust in You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO