Saturday, October 18, 2014

What Belongs to God

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God besides me.  It is I who arm you, though you know me not, so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun people may know that there is none besides me.  Isaiah 45:5-6B

At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."  Matthew 22:21

“Render to God the things of God and to Caesar the things of Caesar” is a wonderful saying of Christ that gives clarity to the destination of piety.  Piety is the road less travelled to heaven.  A straight and narrow path is what we are looking at in our piety.  Some roads take us around the mulberry bush and others take us right to where we are going. Piety is our road to heaven.  The Contemplative in Action has a wide road because such a one has all of the nitty-gritty of life as part of the road.  The road to heaven is paved with good intentions that were worked at with heart and soul.  Success is not as important as intention and effort.  The spiritual giants of life are always telling us that the ordinary is extraordinary in the road to heaven.  What we are doing is never more significant than why we are doing it.  It is how much of ourselves we put into what we do in love that determines the quality of what we have accomplished.

We look closely at what is behind the questions of life that are put to us.  Trick questions come from the evil spirit.  The evil spirit can use the form of the angel of life.  There are times we fall short of what God would do with us and through us.  It is study that allows us to go beyond our comfort zone in what we would do for the Lord.  The Examen is a spiritual tool that allows us to study what we are doing with all the whys looked into and covered with the mantel of good intentions.  Our study allows us to see where the Lord is leading us.  What more we can do to give the Lord greater visibility in our lives comes from our study.

Our piety and our study drive us down the road of sanctity.  Our good habits of life are always the gentle voice of the Spirit pushing us too reach out to the needs of those around us.  If we only do what we have to do we are offering justice perhaps.  However, if we give of our substance in time and effort we can help the Lord to change the world.  When we give our life for the sake of our neighbors, we love even as Christ has loved us.  Thus, we render to God what belongs to God.

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