Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 37

BEADS OF JOY 4-04-12 “30 Pieces of Silver”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Wednesday of Holy Week ~ Lenten Season – Day 37
My Friends,

The betrayal of Jesus was just the beginning of that long walk to Calvary. Today we read how Judas takes the first step to turn on Jesus and betray Him, and for what? Money? Our scripture today can be found in Matthew 26:14-25 (Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus & The Passover with the disciples). I pray that all of you are having a most joyful Godly Holy Week. Spend this very special week with Jesus and His Mother as much as you possibly can, even begin new habits that draw you close to them. This is the week that leads up to His Death and Resurrection. The holiest of holy weeks in our faith. The thought of someone willing to basically sell another for murder is ludicrous. I don't know if Judas really knew what was going to happen to the extent that it did, but I would think considering all the disciples were well aware of the times they were living in; and the anger the scribes and Pharisee had towards Him, he had to have thought crucifixion was in the cards. And if he did and still did it anyway, how sad. But we all know someone had to betray Him, so that by His death and resurrection He defeated death for all of us. It was our sins and Judas' fatal sin that Jesus died for. But let's look into this for a moment.

"Worldly gain for the sake of money." Money can be a sad desire in our lives, yes we need it to live, we even need it to be buried when we die. But we don't need to be so obsessed with it that it takes over our lives. Judas sold out on Jesus for money. That is the craziest thing I ever heard of. It's been said in general, when corruption and payoffs occur: Just follow the money, and all the evidence is there. What does the word of God tell us about money, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless." Ecclesiastes 5:10. And in the gospel, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24. We all need to keep that in mind, we can't have two masters, it doesn't only have to be money, it can anything we find ourselves clinging to. There is actually a lot said about money is scripture, none of which encourages us to desire it like so many do in today's world, "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 grief’s." 1 Timothy 6:10.

Nothing in this life is worth selling out our love for Jesus; except for Jesus. See the minute we grab something and cling to it, as our desire; our hands and arms are full, now we can no longer hold onto Jesus anymore. God clearly stated this in the second commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:3-6. Pretty powerful stuff; I think this is just letting us know God's serious and He wants us to honor Him alone. I don't really know why people cling to things; maybe it's in our nature to be able to grab hold of something tangible that we can see. For whatever reason; we need to do all we can to tame that down. I am guilty as charged, but I have deepened my faith greatly these past 29 years of my life. Nothing is in my life, except for my Lord and my family. I don’t have a hobby, or a place to hang out. To me, when I have Jesus, I have everything I need in my life.

The way I approach distractions and things that I know in my life that take me away from my Lord, is simple; I replace them with an "addiction of sorts" that revolve around Jesus. That's how I developed my prayer life and my writing time. I use to have so many distractions in my life, and I knew it and I would stop them for several days, even weeks at a time. But through the force and design of a habit, I returned to the one thing I didn't want to. Did that make sense? So I encourage all of you who are having challenges that you don't like, or that are distracting you and keep you from Jesus, replace the habit, with something you want to do instead. You have to be very open and honest with yourself when you see yourself drifting away from our Lord. What feelings, or emotion, or flavor ice creams did it. Opps, Sorry, food always seems to derail me. Fill my belly and my mind wonders. LOL. I can't explain that, I just know that food is a huge distraction to me. Shopping for it, cooking it, eating it. I love all facets of the adventure. See what I mean, this can't be healthy. Hey stop laughing at me. LOL. Ok you can smile at me. This was just a thought that I hope helps everyone focus more fully and devoutly on Jesus.

Today’s Challenge: Minimize the distractions if you can, your life will be filled with so much more Joy. Remember Judas was distracted by his desire for money, and that led him to sin.

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