October 22, 2017
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
First, a brief update on the Legacy Project: Regarding funding, please see the Legacy Pledge Thermometer each week in our bulletin. We are getting very close to the three million mark with $670,198 left to collect to finish our current phase. Everyone’s pledge, no matter the size, is essential for us to complete this project. Thank you for your faithfulness! Work is progressing nicely. The old and ugly wood additions to the convent in the courtyard have been removed. Space for the elevator shaft has been cleared, and the new footers for the elevator and the back porch entrance will soon be poured. Before long, brick work will begin. I’m so pleased!
Once again we have the Pharisees trying to trip Jesus up, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Of course it depends on whether we’re talking about the law of the Romans or the law of Moses and the Jewish people. And herein lies the trap. Remember, they are looking for a simple yes or no answer from Jesus. If he answers “no,” then he will be accused by the Romans of sedition, of rebellion against the Roman government, and He’s in trouble. If he answers “yes,” then he’ll be accused of being a Roman sympathizer for colluding with the occupying forces of their empire. However, in answering with a question, Jesus escapes the dilemma and raises the issue to a whole new level.
The problem with the Pharisees was not so much a lack of faith, as a lack of humility, humility that would allow them to admit they could be wrong. Lack of humility is often accompanied by stubbornness. As a result, the Pharisees became fixed in their opposition to Jesus. We must be careful not to out-Pharisee the Pharisees, to not become so stubborn in our thinking that we harden our hearts to God’s Word that is always seeking to lead us to deep conversion. We can never forget that Jesus not only challenged the Pharisees but that He also challenged His disciples. He does so explicitly 17 times in the Gospels. Like them, we too are being asked to be willing to give up an old vision and accept a new one. To be His disciple requires a radical faith and a profound trust in Jesus as Son of God and our Savior. Seeking Divine Mercy we say, “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
Catechism Question of the Week: Which statements are true? A) Since the Council of Nicea, the Church has asserted Christ’s lordship over the world and over history. B) This means that we should not submit our personal freedom in any way to an earthly power. C) “The Church… believes that the key, the center, and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in its Lord and Master.” D) The quote above is from Vatican II. (see CCC 450)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: How do I love myself, and how does this influence my love of neighbor?
In Christ’s Peace,