A Moment before the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are meant to be nurtured by the Church, and we are also called to step outside of the Church - to be in the world, but not of the world.  Sunday’s readings give us an idea of how this works. 

The story of Cyrus in the Old Testament reading shows us that anyone (even those who don’t know God) can be an instrument of God’s will.  God doesn’t stop at the door of the Church. 

It can be easy to miss after the formal greeting in the Epistle (1 Thessalonians), but if you are listening for it, you will hear Paul tell us how to support each other as we try to live in the world, without being of the world.  

Sunday’s Gospel is the most obvious (and most difficult) of all of the readings, showing us what it really takes to be in the world but not of it.  When you hear Jesus respond to the trick question, don’t mistake what he says for clever wordplay or for some sort of bland compromise – listen closely, and you’ll see that what Jesus gives us is very different, and far more dangerous.