22 October 2017: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Answering the Difficult Questions
Being a Christian is easy, isn’t? You’re baptized, attend Mass, go to confession from time to time, and life just works itself out. There are no hard issues, and we never have difficult questions to answer. Every day is a piece of cake with no hardship, no pain, and certainly no wrestling with God.
Yeah, and if you believe all that, I have a bridge in San Francisco I’d like to sell you for bargain-basement price.
The reality, brothers and sisters, is that there are questions. Our Christian faith can lead us to great consolation and joy, yes, but it also means that we must embrace not only the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but His passion and death as well. After all, the reason we became Christian is to love and serve God in this life and the next, not to live a pain-free life. As Christians, we recognize that there are difficult times, and that there are difficult questions. How, then, are we to answer these questions?
We might find a clue in today’s Gospel, for Jesus answers a most difficult question: whether or not to pay tax to Caesar, for to do so would be an affront to God, right?
Jesus, however, answers the question with grace in the way that we should answer all of our difficult questions, by directing the answer back to God. Christ says that it is indeed lawful to pay the tax, but He reminds us that we must also pay “to God what is God’s.” But what is God’s? Everything. Even the tax paid to Caesar. In other words, what we do in our daily lives, whether we are worshipping God in church, going about our daily routine, watching or reading Lord of the Rings for the 30th time, and yes, even paying taxes, can and needs to be directed back toward God, giving Him the glory in all things. When it comes to the difficult questions, we must do the same: turn back to the Lord and look to Him for the solutions. After all, the Lord has called us by name, we are made for Him, and only in Him can we find our answers.