Isaiah 45:1, 4-6; Psalm 96:1, 3-5, 7-10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b; Matthew 22:15-21
In these weeks Mother Church has been inviting us to get closer to Jesus, our only Lord and Savior. He is the living water of John 4:10 and 4:14b, "… the water I give shall become a fountain within him, leaping up to provide eternal life." In Isaiah 55:1, we read, "All you who are thirsty, come to the water." Christ’s water cleanses, refreshes and empowers us.
We have also looked at the theme of light vs darkness. In baptism we died and rose with Christ. Our sins were forgiven by Christ’s love flowing from his cross. We were adopted and made children in God’s family and sealed for his kingdom. Then the blessed Trinity came to live inside of us.
As adults the more we put God in first place, make use of all the sacraments Jesus gave us in his church as channels of his power in our lives, the more his divine light becomes brighter in us. When we leave our daily prayer time, we go into the world as Christ’s lights, radiating his love and power to those around us. In a sense we, can be Christ for them in a small way. The more we do this the better the world will become.
After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan, Andrew, James and John asked Jesus, where he was staying. Jesus said, "Come and see." He taught them and then sent them out with his power with the command: Go and tell others by deed and words. Psalm 96 today invited us to sing to the Lord a new song of glory, praise and worship. Then go and "Say among the nations: the Lord is king, he governs the peoples with equity." (Ps 96:10)
In these days of wars and now Ebola, we see God’s punishing hand because so much of the world has turned away from obedience to him. In the first reading God took King Cyrus of Persia to conquer Babylon and send his chosen people back to Jerusalem and to rebuild it. Today’s gospel story tells us, in effect, to give to the government what belongs to them and to God what belongs to him.
In a few weeks we are facing mid-tern elections. There is much paganism in our country, especially with continuing abortions. We have killed more unborn citizens that all the wars of our country. If we do not turn this around and be faithful to what God is asking of us, we are in danger of a great chastisement and may lose our country. We need to convert, repent, pray and fast for a return of God’s blessings on our people.
Let us cling to Jesus, be filled with his light and love and daily radiate his love to all with whom we live and work. Please study what political candidates stand for, not their campaign ads and rhetoric. Please pray a lot for those God wants you to vote for.
Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before as we "float in his divine light."
+ Fr. Bob Hilz