The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2014. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com MISSION-MINDED?
“…so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun men may know that there is none besides Me.” Isaiah 45:6 On this World Mission Sunday, the Church asks us as Christians what our relationship is to the nations of the world. We must give the nations what belongs to them (see Mt 22:21). Especially, we must give Jesus to the nations, for He belongs to all people and we all belong to Him (see 1 Cor 3:21-23). Therefore, Jesus commands us to “make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19) and “tell His glory among the nations” (Ps 96:3). We must “say among the nations: The Lord is King” (Ps 96:10) so that the “families of nations” may “give to the Lord glory and praise” (Ps 96:7). Are you giving the nations their due? Do you pray daily for all nations “to be saved and come to know the truth?” (1 Tm 2:4) Do you love and befriend people from other nations in your schools, businesses, and neighborhoods? Are you praying for yourself and others to become local or foreign missionaries? Do you give substantial offerings to further the Church’s missionary outreach? One of Jesus’ last and greatest commandments is: “Make disciples of all the nations” (Mt 28:19). By grace, in love, and for Jesus do it! Prayer: Father, send the Spirit to make me a witness for Jesus and a missionary (Acts 1:8). Promise: “Our preaching of the gospel proved not a mere matter of words for you but one of power; it was carried on in the Holy Spirit and out of complete conviction.” 1 Thes 1:5 Praise: Praise be to “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to Him now and to the day of eternity!” (2 Pt 3:18) (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Mission Impossible or our audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.) Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014.Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 24, 2014. The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2014, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net What do we owe God and our neighbor? Scripture tells us to give to everyone whatever is their due and to “owe no one anything, except to love one another” (Romans 13:6-8). The Jewish authorities sought to trap Jesus in a religious-state issue. The Jews resented their foreign rulers and despised paying taxes to Caesar. They posed a dilemma to test Jesus to see if he was loyal to them and to their understanding of religion. If Jesus answered that it was lawful to pay taxes to a pagan ruler, then he would lose credibility with the Jewish nation who would regard him as a coward and a friend of Caesar. If he said it was not lawful, then the Pharisees would have grounds to report him to the Roman authorities as a political trouble-maker and have him arrested. Coins inscribe the owner’s name and authority on them Jesus avoided their trap by confronting them with the image of a coin. Coinage in the ancient world had significant political power. Rulers issued coins with their own image and inscription on them. In a certain sense the coin was regarded as the personal property of the ruler. Where the coin was valid the ruler held political sway over the people. Since the Jews used the Roman currency, Jesus explained that what belonged to Caesar must be given to Caesar. We have been “stamped” with God’s image and likeness This story has another deeper meaning as well. We, too, have been stamped with God’s image since we are created in his own likeness – “God created man in his own image ..male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27). We rightfully belong not to ourselves, but to God who created us and redeemed us in the precious blood of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul the Apostle says that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). Do you acknowledge that your life and everything you possess belongs to God and not to yourself? And do you give to God what rightfully belongs to him? “Lord, because you have made me, I owe you the whole of my love; because you have redeemed me, I owe you the whole of myself; because you have promised so much, I owe you all my being. Moreover, I owe you as much more love than myself as you are greater than I, for whom you gave yourself and to whom you promised yourself. I pray you, Lord, make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge; let me know by love what I know by understanding. I owe you more than my whole self, but I have no more, and by myself I cannot render the whole of it to you. Draw me to you, Lord, in the fullness of love. I am wholly yours by creation; make me all yours, too, in love.” (prayer of Anselm, 1033-1109 AD)