Pondering for Sunday, October 18, 2020

Part 1 of 2

Daily Office Readings for Sunday of Proper 24: Year 2

AM Psalms 148, 149, 150; PM Psalms 114, 115;
Ecclesiasticus. 4:1to101st Corinthians10:1to13Matthew16:13to20

“Be a father to orphans, and be like a husband to their mother; you will then be like a son of the Most High, and he will love you more than does your mother. (Ecclesiasticus 4:10)

This verse reminds me of James 1: 27 where James says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  Women with children seem to be the most distressed among all peoples of the world.  Even in the animal kingdom, a random mother, (monkey or great cat) with an infant and no mate, seems to be a pariah among the regular members of its given community. Jesus came to us in such a way. Yes, there was Joseph, and as we learn, he was not the biological father of our Savior.  Mary and her child needed community support.  Mary and her child needed the contribution of providers to help her through their difficult times. They needed “Religion that [was] pure and undefiled before God, the Father.”

Part 2 of 2

New Testament Readings for Sunday of Proper 24: Year A

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10;  Matthew 22:15-22

“Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” (Matthew 22:17)

Back in the days of antiquity the tax was needed to pay the wages of Roman troops as well as Roman government workers. The same is true today for all governments, including our own United States government.  Caring for the poor used to be the primary work of the Church. And, the Church still does.  But now it is the responsibility of all governments to care for their citizens, in particular those who cannot take care of themselves, like mothers with children and the elderly and the infirmed.  And yet, there will be people “gaming the system.”  I believe it is better to lose some money to fraud than to neglect those in real need.  The tax takes care of the needy and provides the needed services we all need.  God however, takes care of everybody, the great and the small, including those who game the system.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John

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