Pastor’s Weekly Message 10-18-20

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Today we hear a familiar story from Scripture in our Gospel passage. “Repay to Cesar what belongs to Cesar and to God what belongs to God.” In Jesus’ artful answer to what the Pharisees had hoped would be an impossible question is a beautiful truth. Jesus asks for the Roman coin to show that it bears the likeness of Cesar and thus can and should be returned to Cesar. If we follow that logic in determining what is to be repaid to God, we must ask, what bears God’s image? The answer, of course, is you and me and every human person.

Please take a moment to reflect on the awesome fact that we are made in the image of a loving God. We do not have to wonder what God looks like. We need only look in the mirror, or look at our loved ones, the person at Starbucks who made our coffee this morning, or the person asking for help outside that same Starbucks. Everyone is made in the image and likeness of God. If we could truly embrace this reality so many conflicts in the world could be resolved. How could we discriminate against or hate another when we look at them and see God? How could we not love and care for ourselves if we see God when we look in the mirror? If every time we looked at our brothers and sisters on this earth we saw God looking back, how could there be war? How could there be hunger? How could we fail to care for each person with dignity and love?

Of course, like much that our God asks of us and wants for us, this is easier said than done. I believe that if we begin this recognition in small ways, with ourselves and those around us, we do as Jesus asks, we repay to God what belongs to God. It is not always easy, especially if we are confronted with someone with whom we may disagree, or who may have hurt us. Recognizing the image of God in another person does not mean that they are perfect, or even that we like them. It means that we see and acknowledge their individual identity and dignity as a child of God.

We have an excellent example of a ministry that upholds the dignity of each person and sees God in all they serve in our Falge Farmworker Program. I am very grateful to our Falge ministry leaders who spoke at our Masses and prepared an excellent video presentation for our website. I also thank all of you who gave so generously to support their work in ensuring that our farmworkers in the Salinas Valley have the food and supplies they need to care for their families. If you have not had a chance to do so, I invite you to view the video by visiting our website, and clicking the link to watch our video messages. If you are inspired to make a contribution you can do so by clicking the DONATE button and selecting “Second Collection- Falge Farmworker.” Thank you.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, renewed hope and true peace,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.

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