Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Times (October 22, 2017)

As the Church reminds us in the new Catechism, the Scriptures are the living Word of God meant to speak God’s word for our living today. Today’s second reading is a good example.

God wants you to know that he is aware of how you are working each day to live your faith. He wants to encourage you to continue the good work you are doing, allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to guide your living.

Today’s other two readings remind us that we live our faith in a real world and we are to take an active role in our world. As disciples of Jesus, we are members of his body, the Church. As citizens of the United States, we must be involved citizens who show our concern and care for our country and our fellow citizens, especially the least powerful among us.

Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we have rightful duties as good citizens, but the state cannot lay claim to what belongs to God. As the prophet Isaiah reminded Cyrus, the pagan ruler of Persia, it is God who is the source of any power he has as ruler. As disciples of Jesus, we may well have to remind our elected officials that any power they have comes from God and ought to be used for the good and well being of the people they serve. Our reminders must always be given in a caring way with a concern for the truth, and not be given in self-righteous judgment.

In the gospel incident, Jesus didn’t allow himself to be drawn into the deceptions of those who questioned him about paying the tax. He answers with the truth: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but remember to give to God what is God’s.”

Reminding our fellow citizens that there is a higher good (a good which comes from God) is an important part of living our faith in a real world.

May the Lord continue to strengthen us to be faithful disciples of Jesus and concerned citizens of our country. May his Spirit within us guide us to speak the truth in the most loving way we can.