Reflection 22nd October 2017

A Reflection for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matt 22:15-21 ( )

Matthew’s gospel is very touching: the Pharisees were plotting to trap Jesus in his speech.  How did Jesus feel at that moment?

I remember being in an extremely stressful situation in Latin America when a group of persons in our diocese were attempting to question and undermine a long-standing approach to pastoral work based on the training of lay leaders.  The efforts of my colleagues and myself to defend the training were, it seemed, in vain.

Jesus, however, meets the situation with his characteristic freedom.  As an itinerant prophet, he doesn’t even need to carry coins or pay taxes.  Instead of being on the defensive when the Pharisees ask him a politically charged question about paying taxes, he simply tells people to get their priorities right.

A wise associate of Archbishop Romero, now Blessed Oscar Romero, told me about his own attitude towards the setbacks and opposition that he met in pastoral work after the death of the Archbishop.  “I have to remember”, he said, “that it’s God’s work, not mine.  If God wants it to succeed, it will succeed”.

Thank you, Lord, for sending us wise persons who teach us to be free, like you, in facing opposition.

Thérèse Osborne – Thérèse, a Lay Spiritan Associate, has been a volunteer development worker for many years in El Salvador, Central America.  She is a member of Viatores Christi (Travellers for Christ) Lay Missionary Association (