A Reflection From Fr. Gerry
“Repay to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what is Gods.” It is a great answer to a trick question. It was an answer that was timely and timeless. For much of our world, it has become the principle around which people work out their relationship with God and with government. Jesus seems to be clearly saying that we are citizens of two kingdoms and that we have responsibilities to each.
First and foremost, we are citizens of the kingdom of God, after all, it is God from whom we came, and it is God to whom we shall return for eternity. That word, eternity is mind boggling. It is God who made us, and it is God who provides us with our most important needs. What we are is God’s gift to us and what we become is our gift to God.
We are also citizens of this great country. We moan and groan about a lot of things and I know what we are going through now, because of the pandemic, is difficult for many. I think it still important that we try to focus a bit more on our blessings. We do have a lot to be thankful for. We enjoy our freedom as a nation. We have water, food, shelter, clothing, and electricity. We have a good educational system, a good medical system, social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We have freedom to worship and the opportunity to do an honest day’s work for an honest days pay. What wouldn’t countries like Syria, Sudan, Nigeria and many others give for the benefits and privileges we have.
All these privileges and benefits do mean that we do have obligations to our government, our state and our community. They have rights and we as citizens must respect those rights. There are taxes to be paid and laws to be followed. To try to cheat the government translates to cheating our fellow citizens and this of course translates into cheating God too.
History clearly shows that the separation of church and state is a good thing and I believe it has served our nation well over the past 200 years or so. Our prayer must always be that governments rule justly and wisely.
So as followers of Christ we are called upon to serve two kingdoms and Christ has given us guiding principles. He doesn’t get into detail. He doesn’t get into a list of do’s and don’ts. He lets that to us and so will I. “Repay to Caesar what is Caesars and give to God what is Gods”. May God go with you.
READINGS FOR OCTOBER 18, 2020
1st Reading—Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6—The Lord anointed Cyrus of Persia to subdue the nations and free Israel. God made Persia great so that everyone might know that there is no god besides the Lord God of Israel.
Responsorial Psalm: #96—“Sing a song to the Lord’s holy name. may the wonders of God be proclaimed. Sing a song to the Lord, now acclaim. Alleluia, alleluia! Holy is God’s name!”
2nd Reading—1 Thessalonians 1: 1-5b—The Thessalonians believed in the gospel, lived in the Holy Spirit, and labored in love with full conviction. Paul thanked God for the faith of the Thessalonians and remembered them in prayer.
Alleluia—“Alleluia! Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life. Alleluia!”
Gospel—Matthew 22: 15-21—When some Pharisees tried to trap Jesus into saying something negative about the emperor, Jesus used a Roman coin to teach them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
1) Let us pray for the Church:
God, you call each of us by name and gather us into your Church.
Bless missionaries and all who spread the Good News at home and throughout our world.
2) Let us pray for the earth and all its peoples:
Creator, the world belongs to you. May we preserve the earth and find the way to respect all life, the work of your hands.
3) Let us pray for justice and peace:
Dear God, help us make a difference in our world.
Bless the efforts of peacemakers and negotiators and lead into pathways of peace and not war.
4) Let us pray for the sick:
Healing and compassionate Savior, stretch out your hand in loving kindness to our friends:
Cecily Siring Holly Francis Dolores Cumming Elena Perea
Cooper Pavkovich Dot Tebelman Marge Flanigan John Zubalik
Sister Judy Jones Alex Fabian Family Tony & Betty Morici
Dorothy Massy Joyce Stewart Jon Barber Darren McLaughlin
5) Let us remember the dead:
For all those who have died looking for life from you, Eternal God, and for all the dead, especially –
(5:00 Mass) Andrew & Anna Junco, Francis Geis, Bob Henley
(8:30 Mass) Frank Genovese, MaryAnn Quisenberry,
Gladys & Charles Cobb
(10:30 Mass) Lillie Mae Lokar
6) Let us bring to God our personal needs; (PAUSE)
Bless our children who will be receiving the sacrament of Confirmation next Saturday. May they be filled with love of the Holy Spirit.
We pray to the Lord…
ANNOUNCEMENTS – October 18, 2020
- Our Bible Study on the Parables of Jesus resumes this Tuesday, October 20th at 9:30 a.m. in Hardy Hall. Please call the parish office and let us know if you will be attending.
- Youth Group will meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Hardy Hall.
- We have a family in need of a refrigerator. If you can help in any way, please call Karyn in the parish office.
- We would like to thank all who helped plant, water, weed and clean up the flowers on our grounds. Through your diligence and care we had the most beautiful grounds in all of the archdiocese. Many thanks to all of you.
- We are in need of collection counters. You need to be available on Monday mornings. If this is a ministry you are interested in, please call the parish office.
- Confirmation candidates: please remember to come to your rehearsal and reconciliation on Wednesday October 21st at 6 p.m. in the church.
- Confirmation will take place next Saturday, October 24th at the 5 p.m. Mass.