Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday -Holy Week

BEADS OF JOY 04-14-14
“Monday –Holy Week”
©2014 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Today's Gospel: John 12:1-11
(Lazarus' Sister Mary Anoints Jesus)
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.”

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 our money, our car, our home, 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 that we possess.
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, and unfortunately unlikely for most. But I will tell you, it's not. I'm no saint, far from perfect. But from my own experiences, you can eliminate all the distractions in your life so that in the end; pretty much all of your free time is all His, for worship and praise, 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 money 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 our lives. I don't care what you possess. You can have fifty trillion dollars, one hundred homes worldwide and dozens of private jets. When you stand before God on the last day, you will be equal with the homeless person in God's sight, bearing nothing but your physical body and soul.
What did you do with your life to glorify God; and if you have much stuff, you will be judged more, because you have been entrusted with more, blessed with more. Meaning you had the ability to do more, for those in need. 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 all our “stuff” only matters when it glorifies God. How sad for the wealthy person it will be when they have countless expensive things here on earth; but when they stand before Almighty God, those things are gone forever and mean nothing. What a truly wasted investment that was for that person.
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 will 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 own life and see that if you do prioritize Jesus as always first, your heart will really skip a beat just thinking about Jesus and His Mother. Believe me you will never allow anything or anyone to take precedence over them; once that JOY has filled your life. 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 them into blessings.
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 cool? 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, and really wants a family. God has a plan for all of us; we can't allow these huge road blocks of selfish pride to 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 their ship sinks refusing to let it go. The deeper you sink holding them, the further away from God’s presence shall you be…
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. And Lazarus’s sister Mary also shows us how giving the BEST of what she had fully to Jesus…

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

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