In Jewish traditions . . . we encounter the command not to do to others what you would not want them to do to you . . . In the first century before Christ, Rabbi Hillel states: “This is the entire Torah. Everything else is commentary.” The desire to imitate God’s own way of acting gradually replaces the tendency to think only of those nearest us: “The compassion of human beings is for their neighbour, but the compassion of the Lord is for all living beings.”
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar, and to God what is God's
Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, E.V.October 18, 2020
Back in the 1990s, the Canadian bishops issued a major statement on the economy. After consulting with various experts, they crafted a statement reminding political and economic leaders of their moral responsibility towards the poor, the unemployed and those who bore the brunt of social and economic inequality. Their statement was intelligent, well-researched, and rooted in Gospel values – and yes, critical of existing policies.
“There is no need to be anxious”, Saint Paul says. That’s a very difficult challenge. But faith, especially the faith expressed in prayer, can move us from anxiety to the eternal peace God offers. Think about the sources of anxiety in your life, and ask yourself how faith can help you get through them. This week’s readings deal with rejecting God, and then repenting of that rejection. When have you turned away from God? What should be the way you turn back?
In today’s Gospel, Jesus describes two kinds of people: those who initially say “no” but then follow through on what they were asked, and those who say “yes” immediately, but fail to follow through. Which of these descriptions fits you more accurately? With which of these people would you rather work? Or serve on a parish committee?