29th Ordinary – A – October 19th – The Object – The Goal and the Plan to… Kill!
Bottom Line: So my dear friends, the most precious gift (beside God becomes Man!” that belong to God, but he has given to mankind is life! Therefore, no one, and I mean no one, no king nor president, nor the General Secretary of the United Nations can take it away! Now, it is yours to keep, and it is your responsibility to defend and protect that most precious gift!
Father Martino Nguyễn Bá Thông (St. Anne Catholic Church – Columbus, GA)
29th Ordinary – Year A (2008) – [email protected]
Isaiah 45:1, 44-6
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
The Object – The Goal and the Plan to… Kill!
Bottom Line: So my dear friends, the most precious gift (beside God becomes Man!) that belong to God, but he has given to mankind is life! Therefore, no one, and I mean no one, no king nor president, nor the General Secretary of the United Nations can take it away! Now, it is yours to keep, and it is your responsibility to defend and protect that most precious gift!
The Object: Jesus Christ – The Goal: Eliminate Jesus (the life Giver) from the life! – The Plan: Pose an “Un-answerable” question to him!
God or Caesar? “Is it lawful to pay tax to the emperor or not?” was the question being posed! Jesus is the focus of hatred, one so great that in today’s Gospel both the Pharisees – Nationalist; and the Herodians – Sympathizers with Rome, have put aside their differences and joined in an effort to entrap him. They though they have found the perfect ruse! Get Jesus to oppose tax and earn the ANGER of the Romans; or get Jesus to support tax and arouse the ire of the nationalists! Wow, what a perfect plot to eliminate Jesus from this life!
No, not really! As often as we read in Scripture, Jesus leaves his attackers stunned by his “full of wisdom” answers! At first glance, we might think that Jesus displays his wisdom by throwing punches at both side’s dispute – the Sympathizers or the Romans want their tax, while the Nationalists or the Jews wants their religion and recognition of the Kingship of God in their CHOSEN race! But if we look closer, we will see that the Lord goes beyond the responsibilities to the earthly kingdom into the Eternal Kingdom. That all things are subjected to God! And we are blessed to share in His authority!
Now, 2000 years later, we face the same problem! As our presidential election coming up, many of you have asked me, to “choose” or “endorse” a candidate! And let me tell you, no matter who I choose, I will be stoned, not by the Nationalists or the Sympathizers, but by either the Republicans or the Democrats! So, learning from Jesus and the way he answers, I will stunned my attackers who come to church looking for reason to “kill” the messenger!
With that all said, we also need to face the reality of life! We are living in a time of abundance of conflict between Church and state, a matter of Political or Religion. And many believe we should not talk about politics in Church, and I totally agree with you! We should not talk about politics in church, but we MUST talk about God’s teachings! And that is what I have been doing and will continue to do for the rest of my life!
So I am not going to attempt to explain to you the tax “package”, you have heard it many times from both John McCain and Barrack Obama! And trust me, not many of you know what they were saying. And by the way, these proposed taxes cut packages might or might not become a reality! Even if it is, it will change from one president to another! That is why the lax law is so complicated! So my advice, pay tax – Give Caesar what’s Caesar’s!
As I have stated earlier, my dear friends, I am here to talk to you what belongs to God! And we need to repay God what His! But before we repay him, we need to know “What belongs to God?” To answer this question, you do not need a doctor degree in science! You only need to know your Bible! Life belongs to God! That is the first and the most important “thing” that man “owns.” Without your life, all other “rights” mean nothing to you! Jeremiah 1:5 reads “before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you! I set you apart!” It is pretty clear when a person becomes a “person”! If we read Jeremiah correctly, it means, we had become a “we” or you had become a “you”, or Martino had become Martino even BEFORE our mothers formed us in the womb! That prove is not a scientific research or theological development but it is a fact! It came from the life Giver – the Lord! Therefore there is no room for debate here! Because the life Giver has to know when life begins and… ends!
Oh, I like to answer your next question too – because many of us – who call ourselves “followers of Christ” but might wonder “How do we know that God is the life Giver?” That is easy! Now open the first book in the Bible name “the book of… Genesis!” (Good, you know the Bible!”) Genesis 1:26 “Let us create man in our own image!”
Then comes the next question, why did God create mankind for? God knows that is going to be our next question, so he explains it in the same verse 26: “Let us make man in our own image according to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over ALL the earth, and over everything that creeps or moves“ Wow, what a good creator! He gave us the power to control, or shall we say to be “king” over all that he had created! Well, I think he trusts that we would to the right things! And the right thing is: “Protect life (which is the image of God) at all time! In good time, and in bad, in sickness and in health! From the beginning to a natural end!”
Unfortunately, reality of the year 2008 AD is, we have reversed that order! Instead of worshiping God and control over all created things; we allow ourselves to worship created things and try to control God and make God think the way we think. And that is the bad news.
So my dear friends, the most precious gift (beside God becomes Man!) that belong to God, but he has given to mankind is life! Therefore, no one, and I mean no one, no king nor president, nor the General Secretary of the United Nations can take it away! Now, it is yours to keep, and it is your responsibility to defend and protect that most precious gift!
Fr. Martino Nguyen Ba-Thong