Fr. Dale’s Homily

29th Sunday of OT (Cycle A)
October 17-18, 2020
Gospel:  Matthew 22:15-21

The old saying has it that we can be sure of two things: death and taxes.  There is a lot of truth in that saying.  Taxes are not new.  Taxes are such a  topic, especially in this presidential election year.  The Palestine of Jesus’ day was under Roman rule.  Taxes had to be paid to Caesar.  There was and is no way to escape death and taxes.  Some have tired… 

But the big question for us is: What things are Caesar’s?  What things are God’s? 

IN a word, ALL things are God’s.  As we have come to know: God made us.  We belong to Him.  We can only return to God what He has already given to us.  God gives freely.  God’s sun shines on the good and the bad.  God gives willingly.  He wants to give.  He does not have to be begged or bribed.  God gives lavishly.  God cannot be outdone in generosity.  Above all, God’s charity goes beyond His justice.  It is inconceivable that God should measure out His love.  God gives of self. “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.”  NOW, THAT IS GIVING! Ask anyone who has ever been given a child or have had a child die.

God’s giving does not have strings attached.  There are no conditions to His giving.  God does not need our gifts.  Everything is already His.  HOWEVER, by the act of giving, we become the image of God.  Even the ability to give is a gift of God. 

We give to God by giving to others.  We can give TIME.  Volunteer at a hospital or nursing home, tutor children and adults.  Listen to a child’s story or read to a lonely, elderly person.  Help at church with cleaning, painting, fish frys, liturgy, teaching. 

We can also use our TALENTS for others; quilting, cooking, carpentry, finances, art, computer, gardening, baby-sitting just to name a few.  There are enough jobs that we like to do that we don’t have to do the unpleasant tasks that someone else might like. 

Ask God what God might want you to do.  It takes courage to ask that question and more courage to hear and act upon the answer. 

We give by tithing our TREASURE.  Inferred by scripture, God asks for a portion of our resources.  Since everything comes from God, God asks for the first fruits – not the leftovers.  We all know that if we give God the leftovers, there might be little to accomplish His work. 

As we have been told time after time, God cannot be outdone in generosity and we know that.  The purpose in saying it again and again is to remind ourselves that giving is not a matter of OUGHT but a matter of GRATITUDEIt is a gift to have something to give.  And it is a blessing to have an income from which we can tithe

Our giving need not put us in povertyGod does not expect us to give more than is reasonable.  But do we dare to be stingy with a God who is so generous?  God does not measure His giving.  Being His image in this world, neither should we.  Yes, remember to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.  But ALSO give to God what is God’s… and that means everything. 

One of the most precious gifts of God is The Eucharist, where and when bread and wine become for us the Body and Blood of Christ, God’s Son.  It is God’s way of uniting Christ with us and us with Christ as well as bonding with one another.  One might say that Eucharist is the “gift that keeps on giving”.  And so it is…