Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Two famous rulers dominate the Scripture both Old Testament and the Gospel: Cyrus the Great and Tiberius Caesar. In the first reading the prophet Isaiah extols Cyrus as God’s Chosen Monarch. Though not a Jew not acquainted with the Torah he liberates the Jewish people and assists them in their return to the Promised Land and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. He, in a sense, becomes an instrument of the Lord’s work. In the Gospel, Our Lord distinguishes God’s role from Caesar’s when asked about the paying of taxes. “Give to God what belongs to God, and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” Our Lord makes us think about what really belongs to God in our lives. Sometimes, we can get mixed-up in answering this, but every now and then, we are reminded of the beautiful hymn: “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow,” and we are able to put things in proper perspective.
Another historical figure graced this past week, namely Christopher Columbus. This devout Catholic visionary has been maligned and misrepresented by those who prepared a “fake” history in order to advance a disordered agenda. Happily, the Knights of Columbus have produced a superlative documentary entitled: “Courage and Conviction: The True Story of Christopher Columbus.” It is readily available on the internet or on EWTN. I highly recommend it to all who are serious about knowing the truth about our historical beginnings.
And speaking of beginnings, of the 27 books in the New Testament, today we read from St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Thessalonians. It was written about 20 years after the Lord’s Ascension
in the years 51-53 A.D.. Up until this time the Gospel was orally transmitted. Now there was a written word of encouragement to early Church in Thessalonika. These words we read today started the New Testament and the rest is history!
Kindly remember that the Diocesan Annual Appeal is underway and our parish goal is $64,000. Prayerfully consider what sacrifice you are able to make for the Church’s continuing mission.