..can God act / intervene in life through unbelievers? ..indeed he can, & indeed he does..in 1st rdg he acts through pagan King Cyrus of Persia ..our world, society, our locality has many examples of so called unbelievers who, in genuine goodness, do good things in the service of a God they deny, profess not to know nor believe in..yet.. ..”my ways are not your ways..it is the Lord who speaks..” ..for the times we have obstructed the divine intervention by our particular dogmatic misunderstanding of God’s purpose, & his supposedly working exclusively through a chosen elect, let us ask for Our Lords forgiveness..
“..I have called you by your name..” believer & unbeliever alike. ; Lord have mercy “..conferring a title though you do not know me..” ; Christ have mercy “..that they may know that, apart from me, all is nothing..” ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“the Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus” the custodians of the religious status quo had a lot to lose if this wandering radical preacher gained more traction..& notice so cowardly, so fearful of losing face & further credibility “they sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians” could you ever see Tory Party making an alliance with DUP?..political opposites..so desperate were Pharisees they teamed up with their religious enemies..imagine loss of what credibility they had left, compromising the truth..on BBC2 last Mon evg “Abortion on Trial”; 9 prochoice women & 1 prolife..in sort of Big Brother style scenario..9 versus 1..a lone voice radically putting God first & truth triumphed..as with “Jesus of Nazareth” some years ago; BBC commissioned lapsed Catholic to produce a religious slot filler, never realising Holy Spirit works in believer & alleged disbeliever alike..first step Tony Jordan took was to read the Infancy narrative in bible..he wept at its raw beauty..”though you do not know me, I have called you by your name [Tony], so that through you others may know that, apart from me, all is nothing”.. phenominal audience figures; now repeated, like Morecambe & Wise, every Christmas.. ”is it permissible to pay my tv licence to Caesar or not?”..listen to how Pharisees abused truth in using it under false pretences..“Master..we know you are an honest man & teach the way of God in an honest way, & you are not afraid of anyone”..their own words betray their deceit & political agenda..”Master” as if Myanmars Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate, one time devotee of Mother Teresa, could ever put sincerity into addressing Pope Francis in his upcoming visit there..“your holiness”..political deceit after her involvement in ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, an atrocity the world forgets as BBC’s appetite feeds now on the surreal theatre of Brexit negotiations, whilst loss of 2000 jobs at BAE gets 35 secs of coverage..& when was last time a news bulletin reported ongoing loss of migrants off coast of Italy?..”you hypocrites” why set this trap for me?” let me see your coinage, your pound coins you Pharisees, you “separated ones”..Brexiteers; pounds not euros; separate trade agreements..the search appetite, indeed the demand, for a special relationship, when all the while we are in special relationship, a special divine relationship “I have called you by your name” a faith commonwealth & our divine sovereign, his image on our spiritual currency our crucifix, our miraculous medals “whose head is this? whose name?” indeed..give back to Caesar, to world & national politics, what belongs in a democracy, & give back to God what belongs to God in a theocracy..a faith community with the currency of our heartfelt love for the poorest being the only legal tender..where in our plenty we give without charge or cost..where an empty begging bowl is filled with ordinary water & the feet of the lowest felt washed dried & blessed..”do this in memory of me”..& will you ?..it happens yearly liturgically on Maundy Thursday..maundy mandatory..expected of fully practising & observantly dutiful disciples..a must..it is our currency in servant discipleship..Class 4 at St Benedict’s PS last wk studying “Laudate Si” Pope’s encyclical on care of the planet..I shared with them an example from CAFOD Live Simply campaign; to drink tap water instead of bottled water..& will you?...stark message of fullness of the gospel isn’t Matthew’s Jesus’ choice of one or other, Caesar or God..exclusive & separatist..surely it is both..Caesar & God..our Catholicism is all inclusive..catholic/universal..encompassing welcoming all..mandatory inclusion..the common good..world/ national/local politics, religion & spirituality..each included needed; talked debated worked & prayed in synergy & in balance..the coin, two faced..image of God & image of our world..a coin to be given away to the seller of the Big Issue in Thirsk Market Place..the person you may have been misled to believe to be two faced..& indeed is..she & her Christ who together beckon us away from our eloquence & plenty, to see & to serve him in the poorest..& pray what is the Big Issue?..listen & she will tell you for free..that your pound coin old or new is only legal & spiritual tender when it’s scanned across your heart.. [ 29thSunYrA;Mt22;15-21 ]