Rendering To God The Things That Are God’s
19th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
October 18, 2020
Readings: Isaiah 45: 1-7
1st Thessalonians 1: 1-10
Matthew 22: 15- 22
We are challenged to be God’s witnesses because He has already revealed His glory to us. We are to live out that glory. Sadly today, church buildings are closed due to the current situation. But the church is not a building. It is us people who are the church. As such, we should stand in confidence and understanding that God is great. The recent parables have been a challenge to us gentiles that we were given the privilege to show forth God’s glory since Israel disobeyed.
In today’s Gospel, the Sadducees and Herodians banded together to go against Jesus and sought out to trap Him. In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, the story goes that the King asked his servants to invite everyone who were out in the streets so that the wedding hall was filled with guests. He then noticed a man among the guests who was not wearing proper garments. He said to the man: ‘’Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’’ The man was speechless. And he told his attendants to throw him outside into the darkness, where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
People today are deceptive. They will try to praise us for them to get into our favor, but actually have the ulterior motive to deceive us. In the Parable of the Taxes, we see the Sadducees questioning Jesus regarding the payment of taxes, that whether it was right for them to pay the poll tax to Caesar. Then Jesus, aware of their evil intent, called them “hypocrites’’ and asked them to show Him a coin. And when He’d seen the image on the denarius, he said; “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are God’s to God.’’ Jesus responded with the wisdom of God.
He was referring to our imagery. We belong to God. Therefore we should give our imagery to God by living out the life of God. Preaching alone will not change people. It is living out the life. We have allowed the things in this world to control us. We’ve got to change this mindset and tell ourselves we can do different things because He’s given us His character.
To quote from John Chrysostom: For man is the image of God. When we teach our children to be good, to be gentle and to be forgiving – all attributes of God; to be generous, to love their neighbor, to regard this present age as nothing, we instill virtue in their souls and reveal the image of God within them.
When we do not stand in the knowledge that we were created in the image of God, we are actually bringing shame to His name. Christ came to show us the image of God. We need to learn who we are and live out His life.