To watch Fr. Richard Vosko’s homily from the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
One person in reflecting upon today’s Gospel about the judge has shared that, “often we can be the answer to the prayers of another if we stop, listen and realize we have the means to help and heal.”
Put another way, we have the power to serve others; to advocate for mercy, justice, fairness and all that is good and of God…
In our society today, there often seems to be a rush to judgement. For instance, our society says one is innocent, until proven guilty. Yet, sad to say, it seems the opposite thought prevails.
Or take the brouhaha of a few weeks ago when Ellen DeGeneres was criticized for having a “good time” with former President Bush while attending Packers vs. Cowboys football game in Texas.
Maybe it would be best to hear how Ellen responded about this: “When we were invited, I was aware I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs — I’m not talking about politics. I was rooting for the Packers and get this — everybody in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the cowboys. I had to hide my cheese hat,” the comedian joked. “During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together and, so, people were upset. They thought, ‘why is this Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?’ Didn’t even notice I’m holding the brand new iPhone 11.”
“I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s ok that we’re all different,” she told her audience. “I wish people wouldn’t wear fur. I don’t like it, but I’m friends with people who wear fur. Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna be friends with them.”
The host continued, “when I say, ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone, doesn’t matter.”
As she concluded her heartfelt message, DeGeneres thanked the former commander-in-chief. “Thanks President Bush and Laura for a Sunday afternoon that was so fun… by the way, you owe me $6 for the nachos.”
So Father Joe… what’s the point…
If we look to Jesus, we know that He too was criticized for being around people who were sinners, tax collectors, poor and sick.
But the bottom line was that even with their differences he respected people as sons and daughters of God. He loved them. He was kind to them.
So what is the message we are being asked to think about, to incorporate into our lives?
Might it be, being fair and just with all people… Being kind to everyone… Being quick to listen and realize we have the means to HELP and to HEAL.
To watch Deacon Andy’s homily for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Today’s Gospel and the story of giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s and giving to God what is God’s, most often brings up a conversation or two about stewardship or causes us to ponder, if we are giving enough to the Church.
Certainly this could be a point of reflection this weekend; but I would like to go in a bit of different direction today.
In a sentence, I would suggest that what Jesus is pushing us to do in today’s Gospel is to get our priorities straight.
In our world today, we so often give of ourselves until we are stretched thin. There never seems to be enough time to do all that we needs to be done. We are on the go from sunrise to sunset.
There are lots of things we do daily that have rightful place in our lives: the responsibilities of a job, a family and the like, there is the grocery shopping, getting the kids to soccer practice, getting some “me time,” and the list goes on and on and on…
But we need to keep it all in proper perspective. Guarding against the belief that these activities are our be all and end all that overshadows faith and family, health and moral integrity.
Yes, we need to give to God. We owe to God the LOVE he has poured out to us by the witness of our lives as Disciples of Christ. Lives that share the Good News of the Gospel with everyone we meet.
In our world today, we so often give of ourselves until we are stretched thin. We give to schools as volunteers, we give to the teams as coaches, we give to the organizations, and more…
Even these good things can get in our way of rightfully giving to God and to “Caesar” (others) what is their due.
Our time, our love, our helping hand, our presence and so much more.
As Jesus asks, may we continue to work toward a bit more balance in our lives. A balance that continues to get our priorities straight when it come to the things of God, of daily life and so much more.
Just maybe today’s Scriptures are a reminder for us to keep working for balance when it comes to love of God, love of others and being faithful disciples.
It is obvious that today’s Gospel story is about praying always and never giving up. The widow in today’s Gospel represents the PRAYING DISCIPLE.
Today’s Gospel reminds us that in situations of insurmountable injustice, especially when we have no power to change it, we are called to pray for those who have the power, as well as the perpetrators.
Yes the widow prayed, as we must, but see that she kept reminding and reminding the judge of the justice she expected. The prayer of the widow, shows us that she refused to give into the idea that the judge would never change. She believed that God can transform hearts.
Today’s Gospel just might get us thinking about our resolve to pray for justice, for others, for ourselves…
Just look around our own country for starters: at our political situation, at the injustice and violence that plague our country and world… there is no earthly reason to believe that it can all change. But, maybe that is exactly the reason our widow friend is held up to us as an example.
As we mature, we realize more and more, of so many situations and relationships that we have little to no control over, but prayer reminds us that the Kingdom of God does not operate on the rules of this world.
Prayer, continued prayer, can keep us going and going until justice reigns.
This might indeed be the answer to the question that ends the Gospel, “when the Son of Man comes will he find faith on Earth?”
There is much for us to pray for as persons, family and Parish… as the Kingdom of God continues to unfold here on Earth, when it comes to justice, human rights, respect for others, for life, faith and so much more.
But, whatever our efforts and actions might be, may they always be wrapped in persistent prayer.
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1: 1-5; Matthew 22: 15-21
Imagine St. Paul writing to us today, instead of a letter to the people of Thessalonica. It is a letter to the church and people of Saratoga County – St. Mary’s, Crescent:
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind our works of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord, Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, Brothers and Sisters loved by God, how you were chosen”.
Paul might be a bit more complimentary than we deserve, however, Paul’s recognition of God’s grace in us, a person, family and parish is meant to revitalize our way of living each day.
In Isaiah today we hear the reminder from the Lord: “I am the LORD, there is no other.”
What are the examples from our lives as person, family and Parish that the Lord and the Lord’s ways are the focus of our lives?
What are the areas of our lives as person, family and Parish where we need to work on allowing the Lord to guide us in HIS way of thinking and living?
As Americans there are many things that vie for our time, talent and treasure, just maybe each day we need to ask ourselves:
- How have I pleased the Lord?
- How have I lived as the Lord asked?
- How will I live as the Lord asks, a bit better tomorrow?
We come to Church, every weekend, and Jesus gives himself to us completely and without excuse or reservation in the Eucharist.
Jesus in the bread and wine (His body & blood), shares himself because we are all hungry and thirsty.
Jesus continues to speak his Word, knowing that life is not always easy and we need encouragement.
Jesus continues to form us into his community, his Church – where all are welcome because He paid the price for our membership.
“I am the LORD, there is no other.”