Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 3, 2010
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Reach out to God
Publisher's Note: The reading in Dr. Bochonok's
book for October 3 comes at a tragic time in the
life of the LGBTQ community as we confront with
great sadness the reality of the deaths by suicide
of Gay teens, including Seth Walsh, 13 in California;
Asher Brown, 13 in Texas; Justin Aaberg, 15 in
Minnesota; Billy Lucas, 15 in Indiana; Tyler
Clementi, 18 in New Jersey; and Raymond Chase, 19
in Rhode Island. These young boys were victims
of anti-Gay bullying in their middle schools,
high schools, and colleges. While the Gospel
reading concerns the suicide of Judas Iscariot,
the betrayer of Jesus, Dr. Bochonok's reflection
is an important one for us all and for LGBTQ youth
"When morning came, all the chief priests and the
elders of the people conferred together against
Jesus in order to bring about his death. They
bound him, led him away, and handed him over to
Pilate the governor. When Judas, his betrayer,
saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and
brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the
chief priests and the elders. He said, 'I have
sinned by betraying innocent blood.' But they
said, 'What is that to us? See to it yourself.'
Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple,
Judas departed; and he went and hanged himself."
Suicide is dangerous. Do not do it. We are most
vulnerable when in despair. Judas Iscariot took
his life during lonely moments of shame, self-hatred,
grief, and profound emotional remorse. He died as
a fallen disciple of Christ. We may never fully
realize his true motives for betraying Jesus.
We can never understand the agony of his final
thoughts. Judas took those to his grave, but we
can learn from his death.
The day Judas died was a tragedy for everyone. He
lost hope in God's mercy. After spending three
amazing years with Jesus in intensive spiritual
formation, within a few hours, he completely self-
destructed. Jesus was to die because of Judas'
words and actions. The victorious religious
leaders did not care for Judas at all. To them,
he was just a pawn in their plot. Judas was no
longer useful to them.
But Jesus, even while experiencing his profound
moments of betrayal, had called Judas, "Friend."
He will forgive with his final breaths his taunting
tormentors as he dies on the cross. I believe Jesus
forgave his friend Judas, even as he was being
betrayed. If only Judas had waited a little longer.
Perhaps he could have become a great example of divine
forgiveness such as the great early Christian missionary
Paul. Perhaps he too could have been used by God to
write profound letters to the Christian churches.
Many people struggle with suicide ideation. No matter
what we have done, I believe God will forgive a truly
repentant heart. If you are struggling with thoughts
and feelings about suicide, reach out to a friend.
Reach out to God. God is as close as your breathing,
nearer than your hands and feet.
Years ago a woman shared with me her remarkable story.
One night in despair she took a loaded weapon, locked
the door, and placed the gun in her mouth. She heard
within her a still, small voice that said, "Don't do
it." She removed the gun and called a friend. The
next day, she contacted a therapist. She began living
one day at a time. One day at a time with the power
of God has helped her live a blessed life. You can
The Founder of the Franciscan orders, St. Francis of
Assisi (1181-1226) gives us this prayer:
Lord, make us instruments of thy peace; where there
is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury,
pardon; where there is discord, vision. Where there
is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope. Where
there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness,
joy. O divine master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood
as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is
in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that
we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born
to eternal life. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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