©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Gospel: (Matthew 6:24-34 / God and Possessions)
“No one can serve two masters; for 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 God and mammon. "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.”
Reflection: My Friends,
Another fantastic weekend has begun. Look at today’s gospel Jesus speaks of Mammon, what is Mammon? “Mammon” is referring to money, success, things of worldly value. You can as easily worship a fancy sports car as much as you can worship your financial self-worth that got you the sports car. The sports car becomes a representation of your success, creating pride and a sort of feel good feeling about it. It pretty much becomes your God and Master in so many ways. Because you will find yourself taking care of it, maintaining it, cleaning it, showing it off, sharing it with photos, boasting about it. You get the idea. This can be very dangerous for our soul and our eternal well-being. You do know that if you simply replaced the word “sports car” with anything or anyone, period (my bank account, my drug habit, a person I am in relationship with, my sailboat, my big impressive house, my pride of cause, etc., etc.); the thoughts are all the same on how that thing will become your Master. Jesus and Jesus alone must be the very first and only thought of focus when it comes to any kind of a Master in your life. Jesus said, "..understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:38. So when we are thinking of Jesus we are automatically thinking of Almighty God. For they are one in the same.
So are you really serious about understanding and then living and then doing what is right before God? We all are, and that is fantastic, but know that we will fall and mess up and have to get back up. That's why we have to go to confession regularly, to keep our soul as clean and as ready for our Lord as it possibly can be. But if you are serious, then it is critical to begin immediately. You don't want to allow the strong-hold of satan to capture your heart, or allegiance towards anything that will draw you away from Jesus. What do you have an appetite for? No not necessarily food, though it could be. It is usually wealth, or possessions that you own, or maybe it's lust? So many things can easily capture our hearts and steal it away from our Lord. So now consider this series of questions, "Who died for your sin?, Who's death defeated the very darkness of death, so that you can spend life everlasting in Heaven with Him and His Father for all eternity?, Who gave you freedom from the bondage of this world, and its inevitable destruction? Who forgives you of all your wrong-doing, and sinfulness? Who is this one person that has done this for you?" There is only one word, one name, one Lord who is the only one who has done all these things, and His name is Jesus.
So I challenge you today, in a way that many of you just might not do; make your life, all things JESUS - 100%, 24/7/365. Become addicted (not in a bad way), but become addicted with the desire, the continual desire from within your soul to please Him and worship Him, love Him, and always put Him before anything else in your life. Every thought must lead to Jesus. The reason why we do something, must lead us to Jesus. The reason why NOT must also lead us to Jesus. Does that make sense? If we chose not to do something sinful or wrong or mean, it must be because of our love and our allegiance to Jesus, hence all things must lead to Jesus. This is actually much easier than it sounds. Keep Jesus in your life, on your mind, in your thoughts, at the end of the pen as you write at all times, you get the idea; without ever ceasing. This will and I mean it, this will create an inner Joy that will blow your mind. You will have so much peace inside, real peace, a very Godly peace. You won't see yourself as anxious or worried as much anymore, and you will find yourself trusting Jesus a whole bunch more. It is truly a wonderful feeling this kind of inner Godly, Trusting, Loving, Joy.
Pondering these thoughts today: Do we have two masters? Do you? Do I? Interesting concept, but how easily true this can be for anyone. An even further thought to that might be; Is it possible to have my allegiance split between two or more things, people, whatever in my life? Unfortunately it can be. Our life's inevitably are controlled by the way we think, do we think of how successful in business or at work we will be; well then everything we do will help guide us and direct us to that goal. But rather if all we think about is Jesus, and pleasing and honoring and not offending Him; well then we live each day knowing that that is what we are striving for. Continuing that thought we know that loving and following Jesus will lead us to Heaven, which is truly our ultimate goal.
Never misunderstand -success is a good thing… when we respect the fact that our success is from God and in all reality it is all still God's. He has entrusted us with a huge responsibility to do the right thing with these gifts. Be a "Giver" not a "Taker" in this world. Many wealthy, successful, very blessed people unfortunately watch others (even family members) suffer and rot away, while they hoard, hold and embrace their stuff, their God. It’s very sad for them…
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS