Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Pope Saint Paul VI (1897-+1978) Patron Saint of Milan and the Second Vatican Council
Sirach 51:12cd-20, Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11, & Mark 11:27-33
'The Tribute Money' or 'Le denier de César' by French painter James Tissot, circa 1886-1894.
Throughout His public ministry, Jesus did something unheard of—He challenged authority. At first glance, His "trick" question asking whether John the Baptist's authority came from heaven or was of human origin seems almost, well, rude. In reality, the tone was always consistent with His teaching to respect the authorities of the world over things of the world within their scope. An example of this can be found in the gospel of Mark 12:17, Jesus states "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's," but to refute the hardness of the authorities on matters of God's Kingdom, "and give to God what is God's."
I believe that we all walk each day in balance with being in the world as we strive not to be of the world. In our calling to serve God, we are in a constant state of tension between the wishes of God and the demands of the world. When we pray to the Holy Spirit, we ask for aid in navigating the pressure and complexities we face in achieving the appropriate balance. Here, I am speaking of the balance of living a Christlike life.
Friends, we cannot let the world's daily challenges reduce our fire for proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus. We must be especially careful not to make the same errors as the chief priests, scribes, and elders who, when challenged, avoided the truth by answering Jesus' question with, "We do not know."
Question of the Day: Will you accept Jesus' invitation to continue to seek the wisdom revealed in the Gospels?
Prayer: God of Wisdom and Truth, help us to come to know You and one another more deeply in love, faith, and humility. Amen.