©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
(Matthew 17:22-27 / Speaking of His Death and Taxes)
“As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed. When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?" And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
|Jesus speaking to His Disciples..|
Reflection: My Friends,
This title really tells the entire truth behind how Jesus did indeed suffer, on multiple levels. Our betrayal with our sins continues to nail Jesus upon His cross; and it was Judas’ selfish greed that led him to the ultimate betrayal to his dear friend, our Lord. In today’s gospel we see ultimately that it will be through His death and resurrection that Jesus would defeat death. The only way to be resurrected, is that He must die first. The gospels predicted three times that Jesus would suffer and die. And honestly when the Apostles heard this, it must have scared them to some degree, like Jesus said to them, “You will be hated by everyone because of me,” Matthew 10:22. That same hatred will make them targets after Jesus was betrayed and murdered. What is betrayal? Sad topic to talk about for me; I know and understand betrayal to well. I am not a saint, and I am far from perfect, but betrayal from someone you love and trust cuts deep inside of you. It absolutely tears you apart. Greed and selfishness -especially against those you love cuts deep.
Betrayal: defined. After researching such a horrible word, that only reveals a horrible action from another, it only further hurts seeing how Judas’ betrayal to Jesus was thoughtless and selfish. How can someone who loves you, says they love you, shows they love you and even acts like they love you; stab you in the back with lies and false accusations? Unfortunately it happens in our everyday world, every single day, at work for advancement and raises and bonuses of sorts; and sadly even at home between spouses and to and from children. Betrayal defined is like this: 1. To lead astray. 2. To deliver to an enemy by treachery. 3. To reveal unintentionally. 4. To prove false. It takes many lies, followed by more lies and continued with even more lies to really betray someone. So in the end, the one betraying, isn’t only a betrayer; but they are also a lying, back stabbing, untrusted person. How sad it is, when this person is someone you do trust in. There’s a saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” I look and wonder what that really means in today’s reflection. Actually the closest ones to you, have the power to hurt you the most, why? I believe it’s because of the trust and love you share with that person. They know you well enough, to destroy you, even with all their lies. Sad how ruthless another will be to someone they love, out of selfishness and greed.
Ponder These Thoughts: How do you deal with betrayal? How did Jesus deal with betrayal? He didn’t defend himself against all the lies; He didn’t even argue or show hatred to those who hated Him; He only showed compassion and love to the very people who were out to kill Him, He even forgave them. How can we learn from all this, to be more like Him? It is a hard teaching, not an easy task by no means, for anyone. I honestly know what it’s like to be deceived, betrayed and then stabbed in the back by someone you love and adore so much; someone I would die for to protect. I understand how a persons lies, fueled by their selfishness and greed to do what they want to do, can destroy others horribly. We all need to take a step back, kneel down in prayer and ask Jesus to help us, to guide us. Don’t make the terrible mistake of letting your selfishness, pride and greed; lead you down a road of betrayal. We need to ask Jesus to help us to be more like Him. God knows our hearts, He knows our intentions, and He also knows when we don’t know what to do. Simply trust in Him and ask Him to help guide you. Peace and love always to you my sisters and brothers.
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS
Revised: (Originally written Aug. 8, 2011)