Saturday, October 15, 2005



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"Make me serve you and others
without pushing myself forward,
so that I may help my fellow men
without humiliating them.
Make me dedicate myself
to everything that is lowly
and unimportant in the world's eyes,
so that I may do the things
that no one else takes on.
Teach me to wait, to listen
and not to speak.
Make me humble and poor enough
to accept help from others.
Send me on my way in search of food --
in search of your name."

Huub Oosterhuis in
Your Word Is Near


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Oct 15, 2005

OCTOBER 16, 2005

ISAIAH 45:1, 4-6
Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp, Subduing nations before him, and making kings run in his service, Opening doors before him and leaving the gates unbarred: For the sake of Jacob, my servant, of Israel my chosen one, I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God besides me. It is I who arm you, though you know me not, so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun men may know that there is none besides me. I am the LORD, there is no other.

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers loved by God, how you were chosen. For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and (with) much conviction. You know what sort of people we were (among) you for your sake.

MATTHEW 22:15-21
Then the Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap him in speech. They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, for you do not regard a person's status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" Knowing their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax." Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" They replied, "Caesar's." At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."

In 1956, Queen Elizabeth, the widow of King Albert I of Belgium, visited Warsaw, Poland. The country was then dominated by communist Russia. A chief of protocol was assigned to accompany Elizabeth to Mass.

On the way there, she asked him, "Are you a Catholic?" "Believing," replied the official, "but not practicing." "Of course," said Elizabeth, "then in that case you must be a communist." The official replied, "Practicing, Your Majesty, but not believing."

The Polish official's heart was in the right place when it came to the issue of the relationship between Church and state. The same cannot be said of the officials in today's Gospel. Jesus forces them to look into their hearts on this vexing issue of religion and politics, knowing full well that they will find hypocrisy there.

The Pharisees were strict observers of the Jewish laws, which forbade them to accept the emperor worship, which the Romans were trying to impose. To honor coins with the face of Caesar imprinted on them would be idolatry. And yet, the Pharisees in today's Gospel carry Roman coins.

Jesus' response, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God," offers no basis for a theory of politics. Jesus certainly did not intend to divide the world into two autonomous spheres – areas belonging to Caesar and areas belonging to God, each with its respective and exclusive jurisdiction. When Jesus says, "Give to God what belongs to God," we must remember that the whole of creation belongs to God, including Caesar!

Jesus did not answer the question of what precisely belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God. This he left to the personal decision of each person. We Christians have a dual citizenship. We are citizens of two worlds – citizens of the world and citizens of heaven. As such, we have obligations towards each, which we must respect and honor.

It is hoped that the dual citizenship and the obligations we have to each will never come in conflict. But if they ever do, the Christian must resolve the conflict. And Christians have had to do this since the time of Jesus. They did it during the Roman persecutions of the Church. They did it during the Middle Ages. They did it in the 16th and 17th centuries, when tens and thousands of Christians fled to America in order to practice their religion without state intervention. They do it today in communist countries and other dictatorial regime.

Jesus reduces the debate over religion and politics to a question of priorities. And for the Christian believer, there can be but one sovereign.

The following prayer was an invocation by Rev. Joe Wright at the opening of the Kansas Senate some years ago:

"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, "Woe on those who call evil good." But that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess that: We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism. We have worshipped other gods and called it multi-culturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it political savvy. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today. Cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women, whom you have sent

To direct us to the center of Your will. We ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."

We pray …
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Ordonio De La Pena.
- for the speedy recovery of Annika Nadine Uy.
- for the speedy recovery of Alice.
- for the speedy recovery and well-being of Vanessa Nicole Lee Lim.
- for the personal intentions of Cha.
- for the speedy recovery of Loida R. Pasion.
- for the well-being and speedy recovery of Conchita Tan.
- for the well-being and speedy recovery of Joaqui.
- In Thanksgiving: Bro. Nanding
- In Thanksgiving: Balingit's family.
- for the speedy recovery of Yeye Carlos.
- for the speedy recovery of Cristeta Villegas.
- for the personal intentions of Rikit Navarro.
- for the well-being and speedy recovery of Conchita Gosengfiao.
- for the speedy recovery of Mike Torres.
- for the healing of Donna.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Fulgencio & Camilla Yu Contreras
- Wedding Anniversary: Tony & Odette Onal Yaranon
- Wedding Anniversary: Soledad & Dionisio Chua Kang Hay
- In Thanksgiving: Tyrone & Letty Tang
- Birthday: Ng Meng Tam
- Birthday: Gil Hernandez
- Birthday: Maria Alegria Mallonga Bautista
- Birthday: Victor C. Yao
- In Memoriam: Fr. Rafael Cortina, S,J,
- In Memoriam: Sergio Lim Sr.
- In Memoriam: Antony Sim
- for God's blessing that Thomas will be healed from his heavy addiction to alcohol and cigarettes.
- for the successful ovarian operation of MichelleVergara on Nov 4.
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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