What Would Jesus Do? - July 2015

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WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 1)

WWJD – those initials are very popular appearing on rings, wristbands, necklaces, buttons and T-shirts. They stand for “What Would Jesus Do?” and have become part of a worldwide phenomenon challenging people to ask that question whenever they face a conflict, moral quandary or personal crisis. Given the complexities of modern life it is a profoundly important question.
Asking it cannot only guide our behavior and choices, it can also change the lives of others. Everyday is a moment for us to consider this popular phrase, keeping in mind the wisdom of Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who said, “It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”
Based on the question, What Would Jesus Do? , here are answers to some issues faced in our era. )……….. Fr.Andrew M.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 2)


WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ABOUT MONEY AND MATERIALISM?
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Mt 6:19-21)
In this teaching, Jesus is not against hefty bank accounts, investments or financial portfolios. Rather, his words are a caution about being driven by rampant greed and adamant materialism.
We must not be seduced by the love of money. Instead, we must be driven by a deep desire for spiritual values. It’s all about priorities. Jesus reminds us that if we place our happiness on material things, we are doomed to disappointment.
It’s also important to examine our own lifestyle and to question our own generosity. Do we notice the needs of others at our doorstep? Are we so wrapped up in our own fulfillment that we forget those trapped in poverty whose potential is denied? Are we ready to live more simply to share more readily and live life more fully so that we can all become the people of God would have us be? …. Fr.Andrew M.


WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 3)

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ABOUT BETRAYAL OR BEING HURT?
Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (Lk 23:24)
Jesus would not harbor a grudge nor allow betrayal to make him bitter. Rather, He would find freedom from such negative feelings by extending forgiveness. To be betrayed, especially by someone close to us, creates a large pain. If we let the wound fester it will grow and make us bitter and resentful. The only way for that pain to be healed is through forgiveness.

The three most beautiful words in any language are “I forgive you”, says psychologist Barry Lubetikin,PhD. “A grudge can take a life of its own and endure for decades – even outliving the offender. The inability to let go of hurts also has a ripple effect. When we can’t forgive one person, we find it harder to trust or feel close to others. Your grudge can infect your family – forcing everyone to choose sides and establish loyalties. Dalai Lama once said, “forgiveness is not religious business. It is human business. It is essential for our own peace and mental stability.” I can make my life better or bitter. One alphabet will make the difference……………… …. Fr.Andrew M.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 4)

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ABOUT BEING JUDGEMENTAL?
On this issue; Jesus was clear and direct saying simply, “Do not Judge” (Matthew 7: 1). To be a judgemental person is to be a harshly critical person, one who sees only the faults and flaws in another human being.
It is impossible to be a loving and merciful person when we view others through a “judgemental mindset”. Only when we purge ourselves of judgemental attitudes can we truly respond to others with kindness and compassion.
Jesus very clearly taught that we must avoid uncharitable and condemnatory judgements: “Judge not, and you will not be judged” (Luke 6:37). Uncharitable thoughts are often referred to as rash judgements because there is insufficient ground or evidence on which to base them. The best remedy for all judgemental thoughts is to ponder Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount. (Read Mt 7: 3-5)……………….. …. Fr.Andrew M.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 5)

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO WHEN A LOVED ONE DIES?
You will cry and weep ………...you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into gladness (John 16:20)
A true story I came across. A father wrote a letter to a Christian magazine asking, “How do you know there is a God?”
The writer went on to explain,“I came home on December 24 to find my 18 year old son dead. He passed away in his sleep. No reason was found for his death. It was labelled SAD – Sudden Adult Death. “
The grieving father went on to explain that his son was a college freshman, an excellent student as well as a kind, giving person. “I’ve believed in God for a long time, but this makes no sense. Half of my heart and soul is already gone. He was not only a son, but also a good friend.” When a loved one dies, Jesus reminds us to continue trusting God for our healing and recovery. We must work through our grief day by day with the profound confidence that God will bring us healing in the place of hurting, peace in the place of pain, and gladness where there was previously sadness.……………….. …. Fr.Andrew M.


WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 6)

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ABOUT GOSSIP?
The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart….out of the hearts come evil thoughts (Mt 15:8). Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’. Anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Mt 7:37).
Jesus condemned all gossip as evil speech. His teaching reminds us that our words can hurt or heal, injure or inspire. We must be careful not to gossip because the damage inflicted is irrevocable. Hassidic rabbis tell the story of a man who for months gossiped and slandered the rabbi of his village. Then the High Holy Days approached the man was guilt stricken and overcome with remorse, sought out the rabbi and begged for forgiveness. The rabbi listened and said he would forgive him on one condition: that he go back to his house, cut up a feather pillow, scatter the feathers in to the wind and then return. The man raced home, followed the rabbi’s instruction carefully, then returned to the rabbi’s residence. “Am I forgiven now?” he asked eagerly. “One more thing,” the rabbi answered, “Now I want you to go out and gather up all the feathers”. The man responded, “But that’s impossible. They’re scattered.” At that moment, the rabbi drove home this point: “Precisely. And though you truly wish to correct the evil you have done, it is as impossible to repair the damage done by your words as it is to recover the feathers.”.………………..…. Fr.Andrew M.
Next week’s bulletin: WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ABOUT A FRIEND WHO IS SICK?


WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? (PART 7)

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ABOUT A FRIEND WHO IS SICK?
“They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well” (Mark 16:18)
Like Jesus, we are to be agents of God’s healing for those who are ill. We do this through prayer asking God to heal the sick. James, the brother of Jesus, reminds those who are ill that they should call upon other Christians to pray for them. “ Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the Church to pray over in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14)
Many recent studies indicate clearly that prayers for the sick make a positive difference. Prayer has power. How good it is to hear someone say, “I am praying for you!”
It is great to think of Jesus praying for each of us at every moment. Jesus spent all night in prayer (Mk 1:35,6:46). He prayed for the sick (Lk 4:40), for the possessed (Lk 4:41), for his disciples (John 17), for Simon Peter in a special way (Lk 22: 31-32) and for all who would believe. As we pray for others’ need, we grow less selfish and become more like Jesus, we grow in our awareness of the interconnectedness of the human family and that our prayers of love have the power to help others because of the goodness and mercy of God. ……………………… Fr.Andrew M.
 
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