A commonly known story is told of a Mathematics Professor.
He was to give to a test to the class on Trigonometry
(Trigonometry is the branch of mathematics dealing with the relations of the sides and angles of triangles and with the relevant functions of any angles.)
Before commencing the class, the Professor announced:
“Dear Students, Today I am giving you two tests.
One is a Test on Trigonometry, the other is a Test on Honesty!
One will test your obligation to your professor…
… the other will test your obligation to God.
I hope you will pass them both
>> But if you must fail one, let it be trigonometry
For there are many good people in this world today who cannot pass an examination in trigonometry…
… but there are no good people in the world who cannot pass an examination in honesty.”
How about us?
Life is an examination, that is posed to us.
>> Do we seek to write it “honestly, and in tune with the Gospel”?
Are we ready to take up the Christian mission of “constantly seeking to fulfil all our obligations to God – in love and with joy – and in selfless service to one another?”
The Gospel of the Day is a challenging passage to always become aware of our duties in life…
… and especially to give the first and prime importance to the obligations due to God…
… to God, our life giver
… to God, our sustainer
… to God, our meaning and purpose of life!
We have today with the incident of people seeking to trap the Lord with a query on whether or not to pay taxes to Caesar.
The query on “should taxes be paid to Caesar or not” was asked by two groups: the Pharisees and the Herodians.
It is interesting to note that forces with evil and crooked intentions often work in tandem.
>> These two groups, normally opposed to each other, join hands, to oppose Christ.
Here is a fulfillment of the quote: “The enemy’s enemy is my friend!”
The Pharisees resented and opposed the payment of tax to Caesar…
…because they considered Israel as a sovereign state under God’s rule and therefore should not pay taxes to another king.
The Herodians, on the other hand, accepted and supported the payment of tax to Caesar…
…because they belonged to the political party of Herod, the king of Galilee, who owed his power to the Romans.
Saying a NO would bring Christ before the Roman government for treason.
>> Saying a YES would bring Christ before the Jewish authorities for blasphemy.
The forces of evil had posed a severe danger to the Mission of Christ.
>> The answer by Christ would be very vital and important to the continuity of His Mission.
But the Missionary Jesus…who was convinced of His purpose and aim in life, had the best answer…
“Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God!” (Mt 22:21)
He did not deny paying to Caesar.
>> He rather, raised the level to one’s relationship with God, who is the sole authority of life & the giver of all things and goods.
The answer baffled and amazed the ones who had come to interrogate Him.
>> The Mission had not only been saved…the Mission received a greater boost.
The Lord was convinced of His Mission in life…
… the Mission of ‘always being faithful to the Will of His Father’!
He was convinced that He belonged to His Father and that all authority comes from Him.
>> He was totally sure that His purpose and aim in life was not earthly, but of the divine realm.
>> He was fully certain of His mission in life, to live a life dedicated to His Heavenly Father.
We too, in our Christian lives, often face such situations of dilemma and trouble…
… in a world getting addicted to consumerism, materialism, relativism and sensationalism, the challenge to live “honestly and in tune with the Gospel” is especially great indeed.
Situations may force us to give in to abandon ‘faith’, and follow only what ‘reason’ teaches…
>> Situations may make us to give up our ‘values’ and follow the ‘vain standards’ of the world…
>> Situations may cause us to dilute the Church teachings to accommodate our wants and pleasures…
>> Situations may incite us to loosen our hold on true traditions to pave way for a “modernistic” lifestyle…
The challenges to our Mission as a Christian and as a Catholic are much.
>> But like our Lord Jesus – the First Missionary and our Leader in Missions – we ought to stay convinced and remain enthusiastic to spread the Mission of the Lord.
Each of us, in any way of life, is a Missionary…
>> We have a Mission to belong to the Lord and to Him completely.
>> We have a Mission to spread the Love of the Lord to the whole humanity.
>> We have a Mission to bring peace and harmony and wholeness for the entire humanity.
>> We have a Mission to orient our lives to the values of the Gospel and to travel heavenward.
Let’s rekindle the fire and zeal of the Missionary Jesus, our King and Leader…
… and constantly write the Examination of Life, “honestly and in tune with the Gospel”
God Bless! Live Jesus!