October 19, 2014

29th Sun., Ordinary Time

October 19, 2014:  29th Sunday in Ordinary Time — Guest post


  • Turn to me/ Foley (1st reading, not just for Lent)
  • Is 45:1, 4-6  I have called you by name.  I am the Lord; there is no other....
  • Ps 96:1, 3-5, 7-10  "Give the Lord glory and honor."  Sing the Lord a new song.  The Lord is great, awesome, and just.  Enter his courts, worship, and tremble....
  • 1 Thes 1:1-5  We give God thanks for you, remember your faith, love, and hope, and how you were chosen.  Our gospel came in word, power, the Spirit, and with conviction.
  • Mt 22:15-21  Pharisees, trying to trap him / Jesus:  "Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar?" / "You hypocrites, whose image is on the coin?" / "Caesar's." / "Then pay Caesar what belongs to him, and God what belongs to God."

When I heard today's Gospel, I jokingly wanted to give all of my earthly possessions back to Caesar, but since I was in Mass, I knew stripping everything away might not be what Jesus had in mind.  After reflecting further, here's what I landed on:
  1. There's something to be said about how the Pharisees' disciples came to their question. They rambled on and on about Jesus teaching the way to God through truths; calling him teacher, and sounding like allies.  Jesus saw right through that.  A good Jew, Jesus saw they were trying to trap him:  if he said yes, he'd be seen as pro-Rome and no friend of Jews who didn't care for Roman soldiers in their midst, but if he said no, Rome would see him as a threat since he'd be promoting tax evasion.
  1. Giving Caesar what's his means paying taxes and being a good citizen, but one can give to God at the same time.
Putting money in the collection plate, paying taxes, feeding our families, donating to local charities all make us good citizens and good Christians.  After all, we're asked to give our time, talent, and treasure as often as we can (and can even receive a good tax break doing so).  Next month we'll be asked to vote for or against propositions and candidates; let's be good citizens and good Christians by voting in line with our values.
Let's pray for wisdom for us and all voters, that our choices be for the good of God's kingdom.  Let's also pray for those with less, that through our generosity, there may be fewer on the streets and without food and water.
  • Creighton:  Give God what's God's, "the glory due his name”:  acknowledge our poverty and frailty and that all is gift!  “Caesars” come and go; God is greater.
  • One Bread One Body:  Mission-minded?  Ask today (World Mission Sunday), what's your relationship to the world?  Give Jesus to the nations, for He belongs to them and we to Him.  "Make disciples" and "tell his glory among the nations."
  • Passionist:  When we become aware that God knows us and calls us by name, we feel and act differently. We feel important, valued, and worthwhile and act as if life is meaningful and our lives count.  Paul reminded the Thessalonians they received the Gospel with the Spirit's power, are loved, and are chosen by God to carry out the Gospel.  Jesus reminds us to never forget we belong to God.  Once we become aware we belong to God, we'll know what belongs to Caesar (earthly existence) and what belongs to God.  Wealth is to share with those in need, fame enables us to spread Gospel values, and social standing is an opportunity to give witness to God's way of life.
  • DailyScripture.net:  Give everyone their due; "owe nothing, except to love one another."  We, "stamped"(as a coin) with God's image and likeness, belong to God and should present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God.  "Lord, because you made me, I owe you my love; because you redeemed me, I owe you myself; because you have promised so much, I owe you my being....  Make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge; let me know by love what I know by understanding.  I owe you more than my self but have no more, and by myself I cannot render it to you.  Draw me to you in the fullness of love.  I am yours by creation; make me yours in love."  (St. Anselm)

God bless you all


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