The leaders of the Jesus’ faith tradition tried to trick Him in speech. What do you do? Do you give to Caesar, that is to the legal authorities, or to give to God? This is a complicated question because at its base is where are our loyalties? Jesus did not fall for this trick and we should not also. Everything belongs to the Creator and everyone has a role to play in the Creator’s World. When we give to Caesar, we give to him for the job that he is responsible to do, that is to protect us. Tiberius Caesar may not be the best example of a ruler, but he was still the ruler and his tax was appropriate to be paid.
There is a much better foreign ruler in Jewish History. We read abut him in the Book of the prophet Isaiah 45: 1-6. Cyrus the Great brought liberty to captives and was the instrument of God to the World. It was he that released Jesus’ people from bondage in Babylon and sent them back to the Holy Land and rebuild their country. However Cyrus did not know God. There is a Divine Plan and that Plan will be accomplished even when it seems impossible. Our part is to be faithful and have Total Trust!
All belongs to the Creator, we fulfill our responsibilities and in doing so, we give to God what belongs to God!
We pray with you that our home, our country, will find healing and peace.
Our Lord Jesus Christ gave us another parable, the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, St. Matthew 32:1-14. Here again He is speaking the leaders of His people. Jesus used the image of the Wedding Banquet which would be familiar to His people.
Jesus took the Wedding Story that is found in accounts like the one found in the Prophet Isaiah 25:6-10. This particular prophecy brings hope to the listener. We see in it this soothing statement:
He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe all tears away… Is 25:8.
This is fulfilled in Our Lord Jesus!However, the leaders of His people did not, for the most part, come into the Banquet. In Jesus, all are invited to the Great Banquet Hall, and we are they!
This Grand Celebration is free of charge, but there is one requirement: there is a dress code. That too is given freely, we are cloth in it in our Baptism. The challenge is keeping this garment pristine. This too is a free gift, to maintain our Baptism Clothing we must surrender our lives to Jesus.
We help each other in keeping our garments ready to be with Jesus at this Grand Banquet of Faith! Here Jesus will wipe every tear away!
We, the Community of Our Lady of Mount Caritas are with you in prayer
When the vintage time drew near, He sent His servants to the tenants to obtain His produce. Mt 21:34
In our parable today, Jesus challenges the officials of His religion about how they are working in the in the Vineyard of the Almighty. Jesus showed them that they were not working for the Owner and giving the produce due Him. The Almighty expects produce from His tenants. If they had truly realized that they had to follow the wishes of the Owner and not theirs, they would be good tenants. They would have produced the fruits of Love and Peace from the vineyard that was entrusted to their care.
The challenge did not stop over 2,000 years ago. The challenge is what we have to ask ourselves each night before we go to bed (our examination of our actions of the day). Are we good tenants? Did our actions work toward Peace and Love?
Today we celebrate a great saint who took this challenge seriously and through his actions, still produce fruit pleasing to the Owner of the Vineyard. St. Francis of Assisi give us, by his actions and words, what a Good Tenant is all about.
He came to the first son and said “Son, go out to work in the vineyard today.” He said, “I will not,” but afterwards changed his mind and went. Mt 21: 28-29
The Parable of the Two Sons was used by Jesus to address the authorities of His religion, Judaism. It is a challenging one. It made them look at themselves and see what son are they most like. That is, the son who says no but does the work that needs to be done for the Father, or the son who is only a “Yes Person”. A “Yes Person” only has the appearance of following the Father’s wishes, but it is all show.
The wonderful thing, among many wonderful things about parables, is it has universal application to all of us.
Many times in our lives we may be one of the Sons. We may do the work of the Father or we may say yes to the Father’s Will and do our own thing.
Which Son are we in this season of our lives and what must we do to be more faithful?
We are with you in the struggle to be faithful and you are in the prayers of our Religious Community.
The Parable of the Workers remind us that the Almighty does not think like human beings and when we get a glimpse into Divine Practice and Understanding, we see a generosity that out of this world!
The workers who started early in their day of labor for the Master expected the workers who started later not to get a full day of pay. It seems only fair in human standards. This is not the Supernatural approach to the laborer. There is only one payment for the workers for the Almighty; life forever! Regardless of the time we spend working for the Master, the reward is union with the Divine.
Jesus, remember me, when you come into Your Kingdom! Lk 23:42
An example of the Almighty’s approach to us can be understood in the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. St. Dismas, in his final act in life, steals Heaven! He did not work the long day for the Master, at the last minutes of his life, he gave his life to Jesus and Jesus gave St. Dismas life eternal with Himself.
My ways are not your ways! Is 55:8
No matter how many times we fall short in our lives with the Almighty, the Almighty will take us back and renew our relationship with the Divine. We are paid in full!
And out of pity for him, the lord of the servant released him and forgave him his debt. Mt. 18:27
Jesus, on the Cross, by His Blood, pay our debt. Being humans, we may get caught up in sin. We may break the Commandment to Love God and our neighbor. And our neighbor (here we follow Jesus’ teaching, everyone is our neighbor) may break the Commandment of Love in dealing with us. As followers of Christ, we must allow God to forgive our trespasses (sometimes we may feel that we are unforgivable, but that is a lie from the evil one) and we must forgive those who trespass against us. We are to be the healer in relationships. This is difficult because this requires a supernatural relationship with others. How can we be a follower of Jesus and not forgive others?
This week we have two wonderful feasts that make clear the importance of forgiveness. Our forgiveness required Our Lord and Our Lady to pay an extremely high price so that our debt would be paid in full. We celebrate the Exaltation of The Holy Cross on 14 September 2020 and The Sorrowful Mother on 15 September 2020.
May we join Jesus as people who forgive! Let us pray for the gift of forgiving. May we be more like Jesus.
9/11/2001 is a day that we must remember. It seems that many parts of our society wants to let it go back into history, but that is a mistake. On that day and the days following it, brought out the best of who we are as the United States of America. We can get together to fight a common threat. On that day 19 years ago, we were one Nation under God!
We are in troubling times now as we deal with other threats to us. If we could remember those days around 9/12/2001, and apply them to our present crises, we could unite again as one Nation under God with liberty and justice for all!
Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20
Our faith is a relational faith. We are in a profound relationship with Jesus and with each other. We call this Church. Praying individually is important but praying as a community is important too.
The World has changed so much this year of 2020. Some of us, often because of health issues, cannot meet together physically, but we can meet virtually. Jesus is present even then! Let us grow our faith together.
September 5th is an important Solemnity for Our Lady of Mount Caritas. It is the Feast of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She still challenges us to be real as Disciples of Jesus. May we listen to her and be enlightened by her, to serve the Lord!