29th Sunday of Ordinary Time Reflection October 18, 2020
From Isaiah 45:1-6, Psalm 96, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, Matthew 22:15-21
by Rev. Fr. Robert Johnnene OFM pastor of Mission Saints. Sergius & Bacchus
Order Franciscans of Mercy

Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God”. Matthew 22:
How do we give back to God those things that belong to Him?  The Gospel reading for the twenty
ninth Sunday of Ordinary time informs us that we should give back to the government that which is
theirs and to God that which is His.
We therefore are advised by Christ to live up to the obligations we owe to our government and give to
God what God deserves, honor, praise and glory.
We have a choice, we can choose to serve those human gods of Greed, power, domination,
discrimination, materialism and self-effacement or do we choose to follow the way of Jesus Christ.
The answer should be very easy if we seek not only everlasting peace in the hereafter but in this
world, we live in. in many towns on Tuesday November 7th we will be asked to fulfill one of our
obligations to government by voting for the person who will have the ability to make their town a
better place.
This week’s Gospel tells us to give government what it requires of citizens, one of which is to vote.
When we exercise that right we not only will be fulfilling our obligation but if we do it with an eye
toward which candidate will best meet the way Jesus taught and which candidate will insure a
government that is compassionate, kind and concerned for all God’s children especially those most in
need of help, the poor, sick, elderly and homeless we will be giving honor to God.
When Jesus Christ was transfigured God informed us clearly who Jesus was with these words; “This
is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (Matthew 17:4-6).
When we read the teachings of Christ, we find clear concise guidelines as to how we are expected to
live our lives.  These are found in The Sermon on the Mount, and in the “GREAT
Christ’s teachings could not be any clearer, yet so many politicians who claim they are Christians
promote laws that are in opposition to the teachings of Christ.
The Book of Isaiah (58:10) teaches us that; if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of
the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.
When we fail to be concerned for the wellbeing of ALL God’s children we are not, and we cannot,
claim to be serving God and giving back to Him what He deserves.
When we decide that power, money, prestige, fame, and greed are more important to us than living
according to God’s way, we are not serving God.  
We need to judge a person, even our elected officials, by their past deeds.  Have they fought to feed
the poor and clothe the Naked and provide adequate housing to the homeless or sought equal pay for
equal work? Have they spoken out against atrocities and war?  Do they respect and love all of God’s
children and seek all be treated fairly?
The question poised at the beginning of this reflection was, “Do you render to God that which is God’s
and to Caesar that which is His” As Christians we are called by God to fight for equality, justice,
compassion for all God’s children especially the poor, sick, aged ,homeless and hungry using The
teachings of Christ as our guideline. They are found in the Sermon on the Mount and in the
commandment “Love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, mind, soul and body and the second
is like unto it, love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
By living a life of and practicing equality, justice, compassion, mercy, peaceful coexistence and charity
you will be rendering to God that which is His and to Caesar what is His and fulfilling your civic
duty.          AMEN