Mass & Live Stream Schedule
As of Sept. 1, 2020, Tuesdays at 10AM will be in Spanish, and Wednesdays at 10AM will be English
Monday – Friday: 6:30 AM
Monday – Saturday: 10 AM (live stream)
Weekend Mass Schedule:
Saturday: 5:30 PM
Sunday: 7 AM, 11 AM (live stream), 1 PM, 5 PM
Español: 9 AM (live stream), 7 PM
Give to God What Is God’s
In our Sunday readings we start listening to the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians. It is the oldest written text of Christian scripture, the first of the letters, written twenty years before any gospel. Paul wrote this letter from Corinth a few months after leaving Thessalonika. The “church of Thessalonians” was a single parish, like ours located at a crossroads of travel and commerce, not unlike ours of mixed backgrounds, races and languages, yet united by their faith in Christ. What can this letter tell us about our Christian lives? Who are we? and How we act?
Who are we? People CHOSEN and LOVED and BELONGING. Israel was the chosen people of Old Testament reading; the Church is the chosen people in the New Testament. In the scriptures people were chosen not because they were better than others, but because despite their weaknesses, God would use them. This was true of Israel the people, and individual characters like David, Peter and Paul, or like us today.
To be “Loved by God” in Christ is privileged intimacy not shared by others; only 1/3 of world is even nominally Christian; about one billion are Catholic
“Belonging to God.” Jesus asked, “Whose image is on the coin?” Caesar’s they said, and so the coin belonged to him. People believed all money belonged to Caesar; he let them use it. Human beings bear the image of God; thus we belong to him. Part of your possessions belong to Caesar, but all of you belongs to God. In every aspect of life, wherever we go, whatever we do, in personal, family, social, economic, or political areas, we bear and reflect the image of God in every word and work. Whose image do others see when they look at our lives? When people see us, do they see Jesus engraved upon us? To the extent that they do, that’s the extent to which we belong to the kingdom of God.
Jesus’ opponents asked him a trick question about taxation: if Jesus said, do not pay, he opposes Rome; if Jesus said, pay, he disappoints the more nationalistic Jews. He evades the trap, asks them a question, and gives a challenge: you may ask about taxes for Caesar, but more important… repay, return, give back to God what belongs to him. (In a couple days he would in fact give back all to God on the cross.)
Life is a process of giving back, returning to God what he has given us, that is, everything. We give ourselves to him by our fidelity to his word in every aspect of our lives. Jesus turns the incident into a challenge to be as careful about obligations to God as one is about obligations to Caesar. The question Jesus was asked could have been phrased, “Whose side are you on? Israel’s or Rome’s?” Jesus’ answer was “On God’s side!”
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Paul Vuturo
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