Sunday, October 19, 2014

Give to God what is God's

We are all very familiar with today's Gospel story.  The Pharisees attempt to catch Jesus in a verbal snafu, and end up trapping themselves.  They propose to Jesus whether or not it is proper to pay the government tax.  Jesus suggests that to each in their proper order, we are responsible to civil and religious authorities.  Mostly because this is the world we live in.
But as citizens of the Kingdom must live in such a way that we take responsibility within the community we live, and become a living witness to that ultimate communion of which we are part of.  Our response to our brothers and sisters much be perfected by the faith we profess.  Within the environment we find ourselves in we are always proclaiming, always bearing witness to the truth which we profess.   To be sure our faith calls us to live in a counter-cultural manner, yet drawing members around us into that journey of faith.
Certainly this is what the fathers of Vatican II must have meant when they drafted "The Church in the Modern World."  We are not called to be detached, that is a special vocation, but very much part of the communities in which we live.  Our faithfulness and desire to be holy does not allow for the brokenness of humanness  to distort or mis-direct of lifestyle.  Rather as living as faithful witnesses we have the possibility of transforming the world around us.  All the while giving to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's
In a very real way we become the leaven in the midst of the rotten dough.  Being a faithful steward of the goodness of God can become an inspiration and a source of encouragement.  It becomes less of a choice of living in one world or another, and more about the choices of life which we make.

Monday, October 13, 2014


I have been having massive problems getting into my blog over the last several weeks.  I have been trying to update to the latest version, and it doesn't happen.
Anyway, got back from retreat this past weekend.  This had to be one of the better retreats in that I attended very few of the talks, and prayed, read, and prayed some more.  In the past the conferences have become too much like theology classes.  I do not need that right now.  But to pray and reflect has been very valuable for me.

This fall we of course start the RE and youth ministry.  It is becoming more difficult to really expand the notion of 'faith' and 'holy' within our children since so many of their families are disconnected from Church.  We still labor under that 'quick-mart' mentality which quickly delivers our religion to us without any commitment or lasting effects.

I am starting Fr Robert Barron's section on Jesus Christ in a few weeks.  I hope to have a lot of people there but I fear it will be the same old stalwart peoples who come to everything.  I long to discover how to get into these peoples homes to get them excited about faith and Church. 

In the meantime Advent is just around the corner.  I really want to push the aspects prayer and preparation during that time.  Reconciliation services seem like a thing of the past, but I would like to offer that as well.

So I am excited.  I look forward to the upcoming high holy days, and then the cold winter.  All should be well.