Monday, April 2, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 35

BEADS OF JOY 4-02-12 “God’s Love is Limitless”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Monday of Holy Week ~Lenten Season – Day 35
My Friends,

Holy week has begun. The sorrow of a most challenging week will end in the joy of a most Blessed Easter morning. Today we are reflecting on John 12:1-11 (Lazarus's Sister Mary Anoints Jesus). I don't know can we possibly comprehend what it means to have a love for someone that is literally limitless and has no bounds whatsoever? Mary, precious Mary, sister of Lazarus, was so thankful, and appreciative of the love God had in raising her brother; that she used the most expensive, extravagant fragrant she owned and used it to anoint the feet of Jesus. And then she used her hair to wipe away her tears that she cried on His feet. Can we use all we have in something that we see as value, and spend it all on Jesus? I mean completely using all it for His glory. Now you realize it doesn't have to be a fragrance, it can be money, a car, a house, our time, and our skills. What do we possess that can not only be used to glorify God; but we can show Jesus that He comes first in our lives, not this item.

Mary sister of Lazarus has taught us a most precious lesson. Do we allow our love for Jesus to literally rule our lives? I know in today's time that may sound impossible. But I will tell you, it's not. I'm no angel, far from perfect. But you can eliminate all the distractions in your life so that in the end; pretty much all of your free time is all His, worshiping, praising, sharing and loving Him. Why do you think Judas was so harsh to Mary? His main focus was greed. He knew if he could sell the fragrance, he'd have more funds to tap into at his leisure. We can't allow anything in this world to have such a hold on us, especially something that would cause us to put Jesus second or even last in line in our lives. I don't care what you possess. You can have fifty trillion dollars, one hundred homes worldwide and dozen jets. When you stand before God on the last day, you will be equal with the homeless person in God's sight. What you did with your life to glorify God; and if you have much stuff, you will be judged more, because you have been entrusted with more. The homeless person may have been put into the situation by sad circumstances, but loved and thanked God for all they had. These things I believe are important to stay in our thoughts throughout our lives; mostly so we don't lose sight of what really matters. And stuff only matters when it glorifies God.

Now I hope this doesn’t sound morbid, but it's an important thought. I read it many years ago. "It don't matter if you’re rich or poor, when a dead body decays, they both smell the same." And you know that's the inevitable hard truth. The one equalizer in this life is death. You can't take anything with you, and no title or amount of money mean anything. What will matter is how we prioritized our lives. And where did God and Jesus exist in our lives? Now let's not let judging or comparing others are any part of what we do in our own lives. That's another bad road to go down. Instead, let's look at what blessing we have, and let's see how we can use them, share them, or give them in such a way that brings glory to God. Again I look at my life and see that if you do prioritize Jesus as always first, and your heart really skips a beat thinking about Jesus and His Mother. Believe me you will never allow anything or anyone to take precedence over them. I believe what we all must do is one by one, look at everything that consumes our time, our thoughts and our money; and then one by one eliminate the distractions and turn it into a blessing.

Do I sound like I am talking crazy? I guess maybe some might agree, but you know I don't agree. I'm not saying stop family trips and family fun. I'm saying do you really need to have four cars because they make you feel and look good? Can you maybe rather try to see how maybe the sale of one or two or even three of those cars, can bless a struggling family or relative. Or maybe adopt a child who really wants to be loved. God has a plan for all of us; we can't allow these huge road blocks of selfish pride stop us from being God fearing, God loving people who care more about others than ourselves. Selfishness is all about you, and if self is all that matters, how sad a life you have lived. Yea maybe you had fantastic brand new vehicles and a huge beautiful home and lots of money; but in comparison to a devoted life seeking out God's will, and a selfless heart only desiring to put everyone else's needs before your own wants, I'd rather be the latter. Sad is the life of a person holding on to their treasures as the ship sinks refusing to let it go.

Today's Challenge: Let us observe Mary's love and priorities in the life she lived; she has set us a wonderful example of how saying “yes” to God, leads to a life of complete obedience that places God first.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS