29th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A - October 22, 2017

What Do We Owe God?

We all struggle with our priorities. We should do one thing, but end up doing another. The struggle becomes most apparent when the subject of money arises. Where do we spend our hard earned cash? Where does God come into the picture when and where we spend our money?

Sunday Studies:

FIRST READING Sometimes we forget the God we worship is far greater than we can imagine. And he acts in ways we cannot imagine. The prophet Isaiah reminded his audience of that fact when he spoke of a pagan king who did God’s will.

PSALM Psalm 96 is a hymn a praise for the faithful, both Jew and Gentile. The psalm reminded everyone of God’s overwhelming power in creation. Such power deserved praise from all quarters.

SECOND READING Faith can be a journey of struggle, a road of tested priorities. St. Paul recognized the community at Thessalonika as a tested, yet faithful church. They had a reputation of faith because of their endurance in the face of hostility.

GOSPEL The gospel of Matthew presents us with the famous question: Should we pay taxes or not? We moderns might detest parting with our money to the government because we believe those who rule us are inherently wasteful, but we overlook the fact that the payment of taxes is an act of allegiance to the government. When we pay taxes, we recognize the power of government and its rights over us. The Jews who presented that question to Jesus were mindful of a foreigner’s power and right over the people. Was that power and right legitimate or not? Where was God’s place in this allegiance? What do we owe our true Master?

Other Resources:

DAILY READINGS Readings for the 28th Week in Ordinary Time.

FEAST OF ST. LUKE  October 18, 2017

CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, Judy became jealous of her baby brother. He got all the attention. Judy’s father recognized her problem and bought her a teddy bear to remind her how special she was. Judy was unique, just like God is one of a kind. In the story for the gospel, Tommy was a talented student and a talented baseball player. Soon, he found himself caught in a struggle between his father who wanted to develop his sports skills and his mother who wanted Tommy to excel in school. His parents wanted Tommy to choose which way to grow. His answer flipped the responsibility of the choice back to his parents, just like Jesus did with his answer to the question: should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?

CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we discuss prayer, types of prayer, and challenges to prayer. Prayer is THE way we can give to God what we owe him.

FAMILY ACTIVITY The way we spend money reflects our personal priorities. Where does God fit into our expenditures? This is a good time to review the family budget. Include family members in a discussion of spending habits.