Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday -Holy Week

BEADS OF JOY 04-15-14
“Tuesday –Holy Week”
©2014 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Today's Gospel: John 13:21-38
(Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial)
When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks." So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the feast"; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going you cannot come.' A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward." Peter said to him, "Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.”

My Friends,
It seems like we are on a similar tone like yesterday’s blog and scripture. Today we are reading John 13:21-38 (Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial) Jesus teaches us here that He has given us a new commandment, "A new commandment, I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." v.34. Can we obey such a commandment? Can we follow Jesus to the cross by putting everyone else before ourselves? By God's grace we can. The society we live in is all about itself; its lusts, its wealth; its greed, and sadly its pride. It's so sad, but Jesus' way is opposite the grain of the new world we live in. Yes I purposely said new world. This so called perfect world that some think can be created; is actually a very diabolical way of destroying all that we value amongst the faithful, and given to the ungodly. We as Catholics must stand strong in our faith. Me speaking personally for myself: I'd gladly die defending what I believe in my faith, I will never deny Jesus. I refuse to go to my grave and have to explain to God that I gave into everything that offends Him. Nothing, I'll say it again, NOTHING in this life should ever derail your love for Jesus, Nothing. Be strong, be bold. This world cannot take, destroy or kill anything that is in your heart. No powers or authority can touch it. A person in prison can really be freer than the one living in a mansion.
This reading also spoke of how Peter was going to deny Jesus three times. Ok there's another example we can also learn from. Peter in all his wisdom and all his love for Jesus; still fell victim to the very weakness of the world around us that I was just talking about. But we know what he did and how he handled it. He got himself right back on track with God asking for forgiveness. Watch the scene in the movie The Passion of the Christ. Peter after denying Jesus three times, fell to his knees before Our Blessed Mother and clearly acknowledged his wrong doing and his unworthiness. I realize that's a movie. But we all know Peter repented. We must do all we can in our weakness, to hold strong and never give up. We will fall, no matter who we are or no matter how strong we think we are, remember we all will fall from time to time. No one is so perfect, and if you think you are; then in my opinion you’re not out in the trenches enough fighting to defend our Lord and sharing His love with others. That’s just my opinion. But to me, you’re not a hero in a battle if all you do is watch it on TV.
Look at the Stations of the Cross as a clear example of how Jesus who has the power of God within Himself; fell three separate times as He carried His enormous cross. But also note that after every fall, He got up and continued. He didn't give up or give in and let the violent mean society of people around Him who hated Him do anything to Him that would take Him away from His will that saved us. Never let this world's distractions make you lose sight of God. And also don't fall victim to believing there is no God. This world is very subtle in its wicked ways. But then satan doesn't only attack us with a sword, sometimes he uses a tasty chocolate cake LOL (opps sorry), or a simple law that "sounds" like it's protecting the innocent, when it actually will increase their deaths by 30%. And then honest God fearing people line themselves up behind the lie; and many become mislead. We need to do our own diligence in our lives. Stay true to God, we will all fall short and we will all sin and we will from time to time make some seriously bad choices. But remember we are human, and our strengths are weakened by our original sin. But that must not discourage us.
So after all this has been said, what should we do? I think the two examples here and the wisdom in scripture show us that: We must love others as Jesus has and does love us, and we should never be weakened by our own weaknesses. Sometimes the only way we really learn, is from our own weaknesses, and most of us know what they are. So staying focused in prayer and obedience to His word, and by doing all we can to continually grow spiritually; we will most likely be more ready than if we did nothing. Our radar will always be up watching out for us, and watch what moves opposite the grain of our Lords teachings. I have many friends who are part of the ROTC in Niagara Falls, NY. We lived right behind the Air Force base, and one thing I noticed all the near nine years we lived there was; the planes kept flying every couple hours in a huge round circle around the entire county. Twenty four hours a day. They had a large fleet of planes. So one day it came to mind and I asked a friend of mine, "Why do you guys keep flying, day in and day out? You never go anywhere." She looked at me and said, "We always have to be ready. We never know if we'll be needed and if we get the call and a couple of hundred of us need to get deployed somewhere and it's urgent. We have to be ready, so these planes must be kept, functionally ready at all times, to be ready at the spur of the moment without time to prepare." I thought, Oh wow, that response can be used in our lives when it comes to being ready in our lives spiritually. Hope this was helpful.
Today's Challenge: Starting today, let us be “ready” at all times, ready to serve Him, ready to love Him, ready to defend Him; and even in our weakness, let us be ready to repent and realize what we have done, and do all we can to correct it.


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