29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 15, 2020

Today we celebrate the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. As our Church year begins to come to a close, (on the Feast of Christ the King, Nov. 22nd this year), we find Jesus once again being challenged by the religious elite. However, He is too clever to fall into their trap. He continues to lead us above and beyond the wrangles of earth to our true home. In today’s first reading we hear of a pagan King, Cyrus, God’s anointed, who is credited with ending the Babylonian exile. Yet Isaiah is careful to note that Cyrus, unknowingly, is an agent of the God of Israel, who is using him to restore His Chosen People to their home. We hear how God has done this for He is the Lord and there is no other. In our second reading we hear how two of Paul’s companions, Timothy and Silvanus, stayed behind in Thessalonica when Paul departed. They later joined him in Corinth. Throughout this letter Paul will deal with the question of the Lord’s return. Many, including Paul, believed it was immanent. In today’s Gospel, a trap is set for Jesus that His adversaries believe is a no-win situation. “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” If Jesus refuses to pay the Roman tax, he’s a rebel. If He pays the tax too eagerly, He would be a traitor to His own people. Jesus cleverly avoids the trap by contrasting the image of Caesar with the image of God. Jesus is far more concerned about making sure that God gets back what belongs to Him; that’s what Jesus’ mission is all about. With the election coming up, perhaps it would be a good time to reflect on this. Do we belong to God or the world?

While I was on vacation the kneelers in Church were reupholstered. I want to express my sincere gratitude, on behalf of all St. Luke parishioners, to Monsignor Morris and the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine for this capital improvement to St. Luke’s Church. Many of you have commented on how nice they look and how much better it feels to kneel. We all benefit from this improvement. Thank you to our friends at the Oratory for this and many other generous improvements.

Last weekend, this weekend, and next, we are being asked to keep attendance at Mass, as we have done for several years now during the month of October. This data is given to the Office of Strategic planning each year. It helps the diocese and our Archbishop plan for the future and the need to make decisions in good stewardship. Last weekend there were 31 at the 5pm Mass on Saturday, and 51 at the 10am Mass Sunday. The present Covid situation is certainly a factor in this year’s tally and will be factored into the results.

This coming Saturday, October 24th, we would like to have a workday, to tidy up the outside of Church for the coming winter season. Some areas have already been done, but there is much that can still be done. Please see today’s bulletin for full details.

Finally today, I want to take this time to thank you for all the ways you share your time, talents, and treasures with our parish community. Yes, we are an older congregation, but we are seeing more and more people rediscovering St. Luke’s and finding a home where they want to “invest” their gifts. All are welcome. Whether it’s lectoring, singing, cleaning, laundering, serving, have energy for projects or have ideas, St. Luke’s needs everyone to get and be involved. And let’s not forget, the parish needs your financial gifts as well to be able to serve the needs of parishioners. Thank you for all you do and for your generous stewardship.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete