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673Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 3, 2010

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Oct 2, 2010
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 3, 2010

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      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
      today.
      Adam DeBaugh

      "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."
      Matthew 27:1-5

      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
      too.

      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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