Always Be Honest Proverbs 12:22
Count Your Blessing Psalms 34:1-3
Keep Your Promises Romans 4:21
Comfort One Another 1 Thessalonians 4:18
and above all...Love One Another 1 Peter 1:22
Be Supportive of one Another Acts 20:35
Be Kind and Tenderhearted Ephesians 4:32
5 Cardinal Rules for Life
1.) Make peace with your past....so it won’t disturb your present.
2.) What other people think of you...is none of your business.
3.) Time heals almost everything....give it time.
4.) No one is in charge of your happiness....except you.
5.) Don’t compare your life to others.....and don’t judge them, you have no idea what their journey is all about.
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Meditation - October 18, 2020
Nobody enjoys paying taxes. Despite our displeasure in being forced to do so, we also realize that the monies generated from taxes allows governments to provide essential services for its people. Corruption really gets our goat, however. When we witness malfeasance, overspending, irresponsibility, and dishonesty in governmental spending, the grave injustices make an already unpleasant and arduous task even more difficult. The inappropriate distribution and use of hard-earned monies can leave a person quite angry and disconnected. It’s bad enough the government wants something from me, now God does, too?
God is not concerned necessarily with our money, although its proper use does factor into our faith life. As the payment of secular taxes speaks of our allegiance to the government, our return to God speaks of our allegiance to God. All of creation, even the entire universe, is fashioned in the image and likeness of God. What speaks to God and has meaning and relevance to him? All of creation and indeed our very selves! God delights in us and when we present ourselves back to him, he delights even more! As the payment of secular taxes is designed to secure the equitable distribution of goods and services to all people, so is our return of ourselves to God in gratitude meant to advance God’s kingdom here on earth.
When our exclusive and sincere allegiance is given to God, God can use us to set things right and straight again. The wounds of sin distort our relationship and disorder our world. By giving ourselves and all of creation back to God in gratitude, we acknowledge the proper Creator and Author of life for who He is and devote our labors exclusively to God’s kingdom and the justice, peace, or order God envisions. In giving back to God all that belongs to God, we set the axis of our lives correctly and put our priorities in proper order. All of our relationships, especially with God, our brothers and sisters, and all of creation are perceived more clearly as they really are. Using, accumulating, wasting, exploiting, hording, and self-preservation are no longer necessary.
"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?" (Matthew 22:18)
These Pharisees and Herodians thought they had come up with a fool- proof plan to ensnare Jesus. If he said it was lawful to pay the census tax, the people would turn against him since they hated the tax. If he said it was not lawful, he would be in trouble with the Roman authorities. In order to look sincere, they prefaced the question by flattering Jesus. But Jesus saw right through their plan and called them on it.
Clearly, hypocrisy was something that angered Jesus. In a series of “woes,” he called the religious leaders who opposed him hypocrites for not following the very precepts they were teaching (Matthew 23:13-29). And in his Sermon on the Mount, he warns people not to pray or fast like “the hypocrites” who do it just to look good in front of others (6:5, 16).
The word “hypocrisy” comes from the Creek word hypokrisis, which means acting on a stage. When we are hypocritical, we are putting on an act, saying one thing and then doing the opposite. But when our actions betray our words, we have to ask ourselves if we really believe what we say we do.
We are all susceptible to hypocrisy—it’s one of those unfortunate consequences of our fallen human nature. For example, we might lecture our children about not spending too much time on their screens and then spend hours and hours watching TV. Or we may claim that we are a team player at work but then create division by criticizing a fellow worker.
It can be a painful process to search our consciences and discover ways in which our actions aren’t lining up with our beliefs. But the Lord under- stands our struggles and will forgive us and help us to change. Best of all, the more we are able to authentically live out our Christian beliefs, the more we can become living witnesses to Jesus—and the kingdom he has ushered in.
"Jesus, help me to act on what I say I believe.”
(October Edition - The Word Among Us)