Almost back to normal

Wow! What a difference a week makes. My voice is still a bit rough, but whatever virus I had is gone.

Actually, there's not a lot to discuss. This week's RCIA class dealt with what I think is probably one of the overtly political moments of the New Testament outside of the Passion narrative: Matthew 22, in which the Sanhedrin attempts to back Jesus into a corner with a crowd of people looking on with great interest.

First, they try to butter Him up by saying they know He is a truthful man who teaches the way of God in accordance with the truth. However, they then ask Him to tell them if it's legal to pay the census tax.

If Jesus says yes, He risks alienating the Jews and possibly being stoned to death. But if He says no, He risks angering the Romans and being charged with treason and being sent to the cross. Either way, our faith would probably not exist today had Jesus not recognized what was really going on and defty stepped out of the trap and rebuked the deceivers at the same time. He asked for a denarius (a Roman coin bearing the likeness of Caesar.)

"You hypocrites! Why do you test me... Whose image is on this coin?" He asks.

"CAESAR'S!" roars the crowd.

"Then render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's!"

The discussion centered around this: just what is God's? Our faith, of course. Jesus' "render unto Caesar" command is multi-layered and our interpretation may be beyond the point Jesus intended to make. However, it could just as easily mean where one's responsibilities lie and setting proper priorities. God, church, family, work, debtors, etc.

On a closing note, Randy, one of the RCIA teachers, is now a Macintosh user! This pleases me greatly. Apparently he's got an older machine running an older version of OS X, but Randy says he'll probably get a new one in the spring. I burned a few of my favorite free apps to disc and gave it to him. I am resisting the urge to bombard him with Mac tips.