for Sunday, October 19, 2014
Jesus invites us to become more aware of the workings of God in all of our
life and the events of our life. We should never narrow our vision simply
to that which is seen as holy and of God by our Church, by our society or
by our friends. God transcends all. God is present in all. And in this
openness, we are still invited to believe that Christ is present in His
Church and in the teachings of His Church.
In the first reading today, the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the role of Cyrus
as part of God's plan. Most of the people in the time of Cyrus and Isaiah
would not have been thinking that way. For the Chosen People, they were
God's plan and the other peoples were only in the way. For other cultures,
there was a completely different understanding of God or of gods. Yet
Isaiah is able to see the hand of God in Cyrus and proclaim that Cyrus is
an instrument of God.
The challenge for us today is to see everything that happens as part of
God's design. God is God! All things happen according to His design and
plan. Even when we rebel directly against Him, He is able creatively to
include our rebellion in His plan and leave us with the possibility of a
new good. Even the best of theologians of all traditions have not been
able to explain completely how our human free will and God's will intersect
and act on each other.
Faith in God and in Jesus Christ will allow us to see the action of the
Holy Spirit in all that happens to us, whether it be, from our point of
view, good or bad.
The second reading today, from the First Letter to the Thessalonians tells
us that our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and
in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction. This is a way of saying that
it is not just in talking about God that we experience Him. Rather we want
to become aware of God's power. We can do that by listening to His word
and seeing that word in action in history and in others in our present age.
Becoming convinced of God's presence and His action in the world is at the
heart of our faith, no matter how weak it may be.
The Gospel of Matthew today speaks to us about the relationship of Jesus to
secular laws. Clearly those questioning Jesus wanted Him to be against
paying the temple tax because it was offensive to the Jewish people. Jesus
makes a clear distinction about what pertains to religious belief and what
is simply belonging to secular culture. This is always the challenge in
every age. It is our challenge also.
The challenge of the readings today is to keep our eyes open to the
presence of God, to be aware that we can make secular things into religious
idols and that we are called to be free and loving, while we serve God in
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 45.1, 4 - 6
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1.1-5
Gospel: Matthew 22.15 - 21
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: