Sunday, October 16, 2011

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 22: 15-21) Jesus is confronted by his enemies who try to trap him in a question about paying taxes to the Roman Empire. He responds by asking for a coin on which the image of Caesar was imprinted and telling them to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Then he tells them to give “to God what belongs to God.” And what belongs to God? Everything, but especially the human person who, according to Genesis 1: 27), bears the image of God in his or her self. We are not our own to live and die as we wish. For this reason euthanasia is against the moral code written in each person. As we pray for the terminally ill this month, we also pray that euthanasia not be legalized and that those who feel desperate in the face of their pain may find meaning in their sufferings and support from their loved ones and society. As we pray for this we reflect on Pope Benedict’s words of February 1, 2009’s Angelus Address.

[E]uthanasia is a false solution to the drama of suffering, a solution unworthy of man. Indeed, the true response cannot be to put someone to death, however "kindly", but rather to witness to the love that helps people to face their pain and agony in a human way. We can be certain that no tear, neither of those who are suffering nor of those who are close to them, is lost before God.

The Virgin Mary kept her Son's secret in her maternal heart and shared in the painful hour of the passion and crucifixion, sustained by her hope in the Resurrection. Let us entrust to her the people who are suffering and those who work every day to support them, serving life in all of its phases: parents, health care workers, priests, religious, researchers, volunteers and many others. Let us pray for them all.

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