Reading I: Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
Reading II: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b
GOSPEL: Matthew 22:15-21
Our God is an Active God
God just won’t get lost. Even when I try to fill my life with work, movies, and music, God still finds a way to be there. God is the direct opposite of a deadbeat dad. In fact, God takes his parenting responsibilities very seriously. In this weekend’s readings, we see that God is an equal opportunity caregiver who deserves at least a little recognition in return!
Spiritual Soccer Mom
Many people live very active lives. They give their all to their work. Some people have families and they work hard to provide for them. They often encourage their children to get involved in all sorts of activities and each night finds someone gone from the house for a meeting or a practice. Ah… to be alive!
All of this running around isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be down right spiritual. (Yes, I said spiritual.) While some may say there’s too much hustle and bustle and not enough time for spiritual devotion, they are misunderstanding what it means to be spiritual.
“Spiritual” in the sense that Jesus would have us understand it is when someone is very active and filled with “the Spirit.” It is this Spirit that called things into being, and thus the Spirit can infuse all parts of our “being” – including the active parts.
The way we usually tell if something is alive or not is if it moves when we poke at it. If it doesn’t move, it is lifeless. The same is true with our spiritual life. If we are not visibly active and able to change and grow and develop, then we may be dead spiritually.
Meeting God along the Way
God knows that we are busy. In fact, the early disciples of the church called their movement “The Way,” for Christ or God was often met “on the way of life.” The same can be seen in the first reading. God called Cyrus, even when Cyrus didn’t know God. God gave him special help, even though he wasn’t one of the faithful. Today, God works the same way.
God is always at work in the world. God is always there to help and guide. St. Paul said, “For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.” These aren’t just words that we say to make ourselves feel important. God truly is at work in the wonders of creation. God truly is at work in the way that countless people offer what they have to the world to make it a better place.
Being in the Presence
God isn’t asking us to completely change our lives. We can still be Americans and Catholics. We can still root for the Lions or paint our faces red and white for the Wings. But the way that we live should reflect God’s light into the world.
That’s why it’s okay to give to Caesar, as seen in the gospel. That’s why it’s okay to spend our time doing “non church related activities.” Life isn’t about going to church. Life is about being church to others.
So as you are going about your busy day, take a moment to remember how God has chosen you for greatness, even when your main priority is to get through traffic. When you are active in the world, you are making God present in the world. There’s a wise quote that says, “Being in the present is being in the Presence.” Take time to see and be God’s presence in the world and everything else will fall into place.
How might just thinking about God’s gifts to you for a moment each day, help you become a better person?
What do you do right now that you think helps others feel God’s Presence in the world?
Do you think you have a good spiritual life as seen by the definition in this article? What could you do to make it better?
Original article by Nick Popadich, 2002 – 2020.