The good news for the day, June 6 2017
Tuesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time (394)
Some Pharisees and others who supported the ruling Herod family were sent to Jesus to catch him in his speech. They came and asked, “Professor, we know you are an honest man—that you do not respond to someone just by what they seem to be. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God as a way of truth. Is it lawful to pay the yearly property & income tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you trying to catch me? Bring me a coin of their money to consider.” They brought one; He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” Jesus said to them, “Pay back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly puzzled and “stumped” by him. (Mark 12)
How clearly sometimes we see the two different worlds we inhabit.! You live the world of death and taxes, bills and chores, news and entertainment, sports and games—responsibilities and fun. But then there is the world of God—love unfettered, forgiveness, authentic presence, active pursuit of justice, faith unseen and peace within.
The other world—the one pressuring you—challenges you to neglect God, to focus on ‘what is important,’ and to obey laws written and cultural. God’s world calls you to appreciate beauty, to practice patience, to become passionate about justice, to confront values around you, to create, and to sift what is importance.
The question these political people ask is the same confronting you in our culture. Are politics and government done “knee-jerk”-unthinkingly? Or do you judge your response by the “other world”—the sphere of morality, wisdom, long-term life and the Good of God’s family? If you do see “this” world through the lens of “that” world—you will puzzle and “stump” people around you—your behavior not conforming to their either-or expectations. God’s spiritual world does not fit into this one, where you are expected to conform without question, to just behave, and to act according to appearances. You are deeper.