Archive for the ‘29th Sunday’ Category

Give To God What is God’s! 10-22-2017

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

A man walked into a rooftop bar and ordered a drink. The man
next to him began a conversation about the unique wind currents in the
area. The first man said he didn’t understand what was so special about
the wind there, so the other said, “Let me show you.” With that he went
to the window, jumped out, did a spin in mid-air, and then came back in.
“See how great the currents are! You can do the same thing.”
After a few more drinks and much prodding, the first man decided
to test the wind currents. He went to the window, jumped out, and
dropped like a rock. The bartender looked at the other man and said,
“Superman, you’re really mean when you’re drunk.
Most of us are neither mean nor a drunk – I hope – but is that
enough? Is just staying out of trouble and avoiding nastiness enough to
make a life? It’s a start, but it’s not nearly enough. So what is enough?
Jesus gave us a clue in today’s gospel. His enemies were trying to
entrap him into an offense. But he just brushed them off, “Give to
Caesar what is Caesar’s.” And then he returned to his core message, but give to God what is God’s.”
So, what do we have that is God’s? Very simply, our life. But how
do we give that back to God? By becoming nuns or priests or martyrs or
missionaries in darkest Africa, or perhaps throwing ourselves on a live
grenade to save our friends? For most of us that is not what God wants.
What God does want from all of us is for us to learn to use our life the
way God uses life: by helping those who need help and giving life to
those who need life. So how do we begin? The key is by being alert and
paying attention to one another, and developing the deeply ingrained
habit of asking ourselves: How’s he doing? What does she need? Is he
OK? How can I help her?
Most of the time most of what people really need is within our
power to give. For example, some of us are getting a little forgetful, and
what we need is just a little reassurance – and a little patience. And for
all of us there are those days when nothing is right. Most times a friend
is all that’s needed to lift the fog.
And think about the times someone has been very bad, and needs
to say so, but doesn’t know how. A dose of encouragement from an understanding friend will light the way and draw him out of the dark. At
any given moment most of what is needed by the people right around us
is within our power to give. And better yet, all we have to handle – all
we have to give – is one moment at a time: If we take care of the
minutes, God will take care of the days – and the years.
God has given us the gifts of life, and the power to give life to one
another – in many shapes and sizes – every day. We can be real
supermen and real wonder women if we learn how to give our gift, if we
learn to pay attention to one another, see what is needed, and give what
is needed – one moment at a time. From such humble stuff the kingdom
of God is made.