“Gospel Decades-Luke 9:18-24”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Gospel: (Luke 9:18-24 / Peter’s Declaration about Jesus)
“Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?" And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen." And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God." But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.”
Pray -1 Our Father -10 Hail Mary’s -Glory be… - Oh My Jesus…
Reflection: My Friends,
This is a most remarkable reading for this most glorious Sunday, as are all Sundays. Today we are reading Luke 9:18-24 (Jesus Asks Peter "Who Am I?") I pray that we all can be as strong and as stern as Peter was with his answer, "The Christ of God." I have read his response in a variety of ways. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." or "You are Jesus the Christ, God's Son" No matter how his response was in exact words, we can plainly see and read that it was immediate and bold. There was no hesitation from Peter with that question. Jesus also at this time told His disciples to tell no one who He was, and that He would be killed, and on the third day He will rise. I would say it would probably be fair to say the disciples most likely at this point didn't really understand all this, at least not with the hine sight view of all things that we have. That's probably why He told them to tell no one who He was; so our vision is 20/20 and we know who Jesus is. I would hope that with my personality and great love for our Lord; I would be screaming on the roof tops and telling everyone. Then I would run as fast as I could to visit with Jesus' mom, our dear precious beautiful Blessed Mother. I would remain by her side knowing what was to come, and be with her at the passion.
You know this gospel today is so jam packed with so much to share. Jesus also told the disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it." Verse 23-24. This is one of my most favorite verses in all of the bible and truly one of the greatest most insightful, helpful words Jesus has told us. I know someone out there is saying, "most insightful, helpful words???, what is this guy talking about? these verses tell us to give up everything that distracts us from Jesus in this world." You see to me -my life in my eyes is sacrificed for my Lord. My worldly desires and worldly hopes and dreams I got rid of decades ago. Yes I just said that, for real. Of cause I desire to take care of my family, work hard every day, raise our children, meet all their needs and help them to experience life to the fullest, and help them to know Jesus like I do. Since I gave my heart and life in dedication to serving my Lord, I never intentionally ever went out there into the world seeking money, and wealth and an ego basically. Yea sure who wouldn't like to travel the world? Ok, I wouldn't. Yea sure who wouldn't want to live in a big mansion with all the toys? Ok, I wouldn't. Yea sure who wouldn't want cash to flash so my ego gets all puffed up, by saying look see what I have done? Ok, I wouldn't because most of the people in these categories, hoard these rewards to themselves while others around them suffer, I would rather suffer than be like them. Chrissy and I both agree, if money were to ever come our way for whatever reason; we’d use the vast majority of it to help others… No lie, just ask our kids.
It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we are filled with all the gifts and all the strength we need to live a life fully in service to our Lord. What is the point of this life without Jesus? Really think about it. Why would anyone be so excited about this life if all we had was this life? This life ends, sometimes tragically, sometimes when we are old and can barely even get around. There is no point in this life, unless we use this life as a platform, for serving our Lord to prepare for eternal life with Him. So let us use our time wisely and spend time with Jesus every day; let us also do all we can to help direct as many as we can to Him. For everyone who don't spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus, they will indeed spend all eternity in hell with satan. How sad is that? We must be like Jesus and keep planting seeds and keep trying never giving up when we pray for someone, or try to convince them to come to Mass with us. And on that day, the day we die, we will be judged by what we have done in this life; but I also believe we will be judged by the things we didn't do. What I mean by that is: Did we pray for the people, we said that we are praying for? Did we really spend time with Jesus each day in prayer?; Did we help that family we knew we could use our help? or did we just say we'll pray for you and watch them suffer? Fr. Larry Richards always talks about that sin. Successful, fully able people watch other people suffer, and they tell them, "I am praying for you." while they have their barns filled (do you understand that, he's talking about wealth), but refuse to step to the plate and be charitable and loving to offer help with another’s burden and cross. Instead they just watch them suffer and wither away. How so very sad.
Today let us consider all these things, in such a way that we to proclaim who Jesus is, the Christ, the Son of the living God. Let us also take up our own crosses. We all know what it is we must bear. Mine I not only shoulder and cheerfully carry, but I put mine out on my sleeve, for all to see. I give witness to Jesus' words and show you, that you too can bear the cross you have been given and be cheerful. Does my heart cry and suffer the pain my dear Chrissy is bearing? Yes it does. Do I wish I could heal her? Yes I do. Do I wish I could sacrifice my own life to save hers? Yes absolutely. See the crosses I bear, I can't do anything to save her. In my prayers I always pray, I trust in you Jesus. It is only through Jesus that we are healed or saved. He, and only He alone decides that. I don't claim to be any sort of a prophet, or any special kind of servant before my Lord. I am a worthless sinner. I beg Jesus for forgiveness every day I wake up, hoping and praying that I don't fall into temptation.
Pondering these thoughts today: Today I say, who do you say Jesus is? And what are the crosses you bear? These two answers work hand in hand in the life of the believer. If Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God in your life; then by carrying your cross you are following God's will in your life, sacrificing like He who gave of His life to save ours. Jesus didn't say, "Hey look what I did for you." instead, He said, "Follow me". If we follow Him, we to must also die (to self). I pray that all this makes sense, ask the Holy Spirit to help you in being closer to Jesus. Have a fantastic day everyone.
“Consider this my sisters and brothers; who do people say that YOU are? Are you living a life that is following after Him? Are you living a life that makes it obvious that you are living an unselfish life fully devoted to Jesus? Or are people saying, “Oh that’s so and so, a successful business person.” Or maybe this, “Oh that’s the person who showed me how to cheat and steal and get away with everything.” Or maybe worse, “Oh that person, they were so wealthy, but so selfish, they didn’t even help family members.” Who do people say that YOU are? What would your eulogy sound like?”
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS