Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time: Oct. 16 - 22, 2005
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Collaborative Ministry Office
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The Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary TimeOn the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time we see the remarkable overlap of the gospels. Matthew tells us the Pharisee plot to set a trap for Jesus, this time using politics to see if he will offend either Rome or the people. Should they pay Rome's census tax? Jesus pushes the challenge back to them: "Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." What is it they must repay to God that is God's? Their trust in Jesus, God's gift to them.Monday is the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr. Tuesday we have the joy of celebrating the Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist. Wednesday is a great Jesuit celebration of the "North American Martyrs" the Memorial of the Saint John de Brebeuf, Saint Isaac Jogues, and their companions, martyrs.St. Paul writes, in his Letter to the Romans about freedom this week. He contrasts slavery to sin to a new freedom: slavery to righteousness, that is, surrendering ourselves to God's love and mercy. Paul praises God for Jesus because he saves us from the war that seems to be within us, always attracting us to evil. Finally, this week, Paul urges us to live in the Spirit that has been given us, a Spirit that will give life to our mortal bodies.Celebrating St. Luke this week, we enjoy Luke's gospel even more. Jesus tells us to beware of greed and that our "life does not consist of possessions." Jesus' mission is to bring peace and healing. We are to be prepared for the times our Lord comes to us. Much is expected of us who have been entrusted with so much. Jesus has come to set a fire among us, which will probably also place us at odds with others, even others we love. Yet, Jesus calls us to read the signs of our times and to make peace with our opponents if we can. We are being fertilized to bear fruit.For the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time the Word is clear. Ezekiel proclaims God's call that we act justly toward foreigners, widows, orphans and the poor. Jesus says it most simply: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ...You shall love your neighbor as yourself."