10/22/2017 – 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

There is a lot of talk these days in Congress about tax reform. It is a hot topic and very complicated – and often unfair and unjust for those who can least afford it – not much different than what we hear about in today’s Gospel.

The central point of Jesus when he asks, “Whose image is on the coin,” though, is not about taxes. What he is really asking is, “Who or what are the rivals to God in your life? What personalities, ideologies, prejudices, addictions, economics, possessions come first? Who or what do you place first in my life?”

To put it another way, Jesus is asking us, “What are your priorities; where do your loyalties lie?”

Jesus is asking each of us to do a personal inventory. Jesus want us to figure out who and what are the “Caesars” that we attach ourselves to, and do we give them what we should give to God.

How much time do we give to God in prayer each day, each week?

How much talent do I share in service to others beyond my family and my job? Do I volunteer in any ministry at the parish or in the community?

What portion of my financial resources do I share for the work of the Church here at St. Michael and beyond? Does God get the first or the left-overs?

Today is World Mission Sunday in the Universal Catholic Church. It is our opportunity to look beyond ourselves in response to the command of Jesus to “Go, make disciples of all nations.”

We are blessed to have with us three folks from the Holy Spirit Center in Juarez, Mexico: Rosie who is school principal, Gloria who runs the kitchen and Bernice to share a little about their lives and the ministry of the center.

Since the year 2,000 about 700 parishioners have made mission trips through our “Journey of the Heart” ministry of St. Michael Parish. Journey of the Heart is about living with, praying with, and serving our sisters and brothers in Juarez and the Holy Spirit Center.

This “little house” on the altar steps serves as a reminder of our mission family in Juarez. It is a reminder of our call to share the stewardship of our treasure and to teach our children to be generous in their giving.

One half of everything received in the house goes to the Journey of the Heart ministry and the other half to the many ministries here at Saint Michael. It provides funds for our mission trips and for building houses like this on the old garbage dump where the center is located. Please, help teach your children to be generous and to open their hearts to others through their giving.

Let us be extra generous today as we tithe 10% of our offertory for the missions and the work of the Church where the needs are greatest. Let us give lovingly and generously to God who has lavished us with so much.