This week’s Gospel is well placed for the “stewardship season.” It may be here in the Lectionary partially for this reason. But it is also here because of its place in Matthew’s gospel and how that gospel “rolls out” in Year A.
In preparing for our catechumenate meeting, the leaders noted several things:
- In all of the praise that the Pharisees heaped upon Jesus (sincerity, teaches the way of God, defers to no one, does not regard people with partiality) they did not mention his wisdom. This he demonstrated to them in his response to their question.
- The Pharisees and Herodians asked a question that is in the “either…or” mode that sees the world in “black and white” terms. Jesus answers in a “both…and” mode that seeks alternative means rather than conflicting ones. This latter perspective is one that seeks the via media, a way well known by the Anglican/Episcopalian branch of the church.
It was a good time to raise the issue of stewardship. We talked about stewardship of all of the gifts, blessings and talents that have been given to us, including financial ones. We discussed tithing and the roots of the practice of giving 10% in the Hebrew Scriptures. We discussed the need to support the institutional church in which we are able to find our spiritual nourishment and from which we are able to serve others.
And we prayed for guidance in deciding how to best return what has been gifted to us.