The Epistle: Philip 3.17
The Gospel: Matthew 22.15
Our true home is not in this world, but in Heaven. That is the message taught to us in this Sunday's Epistle and Gospel. Here we are exiles, refuges waiting to be resettled into our native country, so that we might find our true indentity. Our Church Father Saint Augustine says it so well:"Our hearts o Lord, are restless, until they may find their rest in You."
The true Christian life has its citizenship in Heaven. We have been trying to foster this true Christian life during this Trinity season, which is drawing to an end in a few weeks time. Our lifestyle is so different from non-Christians, whose mind is always on earthly things and whose glory is their shame.Our hope in the return of our Saviour Jesus Christ changes our perception of the world we live in. It is like the Holy City coming down from Heaven to meet us and we become "heavenly minded" whilst we are still living on earth.
The Gospel has been chosen for this Sunday to remind us how our citizenship in Heaven is related to our citizenship on earth. The Christian has a duty to the world and community in which he lives, and to the powers by which that world is governed. It is a great sin to make religion an excuse for being careless in respect to any earthly duty, in regard to one’s family, business, city, country, or regal authority. We do not mock these earthly responsibilities, but return to them what we receive from them. Likewise it is with God. God demands the return of everything we are to him, for we ourselves are his.
Father Ed Bakker,
Priest and Missioner,
Anglican Catholic Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.