Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily for 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 22, 2023, Matthew 22:15-21
Taxes – A Sacrifice?
Have you ever had a day when everything went right? I imagine if you did, it wasn’t very often. I am a member of a religious order, the Institute of Charity, founded by Blessed Antonio Rosmini. In my novitate during my formation to be a member of the Order, I encountered a phrase of Blessed Rosmini I always use – PPIs, Peculiar Penances of the Institute.
When something goes wrong, especially if I lose something, my first reaction is often, “Why did this have to happen?” or something like that line of thinking. But then, PPI. Oh, I can offer this up as a penance for someone I am praying for who needs God’s intervention. And immediately, the frustration and all those horrible thoughts are gone.
I doubt there is anyone who looks forward to paying their taxes. Often, elected officials will bring up something that requires an increase in taxes. A majority of the time, it is voted down. The Pharisees challenged Jesus on whether Jews should pay taxes to Rome. He coined the phrase we are all familiar with, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and God what belongs to God.”
I need to keep this simple. Everything changes when I give my heart, soul, intellect, and will to God as an offering for Him to do with me as He pleases. A little prayer helps me get to that place of trust in my heart, “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.” Now, I rely on God to provide whatever I need.
When it comes to giving Caesar what belongs to him, it’s another PPI. We offer the taxes we pay as a prayer to God to bless whoever we pray for that day. It is no longer about us and what we are losing. It’s about Giving to God our very being and gaining so much more than what we pay in taxes.
Let’s start our day by giving God our very selves and all that happens to us. When that PPI comes up, say in your heart, “Jesus, I trust in you.” Watch what He does.
IGNITE THE FIRE!
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC
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