Monday of the 19th week in the ordinary time
Theme: Openness to God
Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. Dominic, a priest and the founder of the Dominicans. He was docile to the Spirit of God, and this guided him to the priesthood and also in the founding of the Dominican Order. His emphasis was on contemplation, study and preaching. All this was made possible because he was open to the spirit and also acted according to the directives of God. As we celebrate him today, it presents us the opportunity to reflect about the level of our openness to God in our call to discipleship and in our life generally. Our openness to the spirit of God, will give us the opportunity to be a worthy instrument in the hand of God, through which he can reach out to his people; just like in the case of Saint Dominic.
In the gospel reading, we are presented with the popular gospel passage that says give what belongs to Cesar to him and what belongs to God to him too. Jesus simply used the opportunity to teach both his audience and you and I that we have to learn to fulfil our civic responsibilities wherever we find ourselves in life. The fact that we are followers of Christ should not stop us from carrying out our responsibilities to the state. Dearly beloved in Christ, performing this task does not make us less a Christian or follower of Christ, otherwise Jesus would have pointed it out for us; just the way he did on issues about the Sabbath.
In the gospel reading also, we see Jesus preparing the minds of his followers about what awaits him the future. Although the message Jesus gave them was distressing to them, it was a way to prepare their minds about what they will encounter in the coming days. This is a situation that can be seen between a father and his family members before his demise; putting everything in perspective, for the good of his family.
In view of this, we are all encouraged to trust in God and be open to his guidance and direction in all that we do in our daily life. May Almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.