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Pastor's Column

Material Things Will Pass Away

Pastor’s Column

29th Sunday Ordinary Time

October 18, 2020

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

“Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God”

from Matthew 15:21

At the height of the financial crisis of 2008, Pope Benedict gave this brief talk to help us see the “divine perspective” on the terrible situation many found themselves in. It is one of my very favorite and insightful reflections of his. It seems very relevant to run it again in the light of our challenging times and this Sunday’s gospel.

Father Gary



"We see it now in the fall of the great banks," the Holy Father said. "This money disappears; it is nothing -- and in the same way, all these things, which lack a true reality to depend on, and are elements of a second order. The word of God is the basis of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realists, we should count on this reality."

"We should change our idea that matter, solid things, things we touch, are the most solid and secure reality," the Pontiff continued. He noted how Jesus spoke of the two possibilities of building a house on the sand or on a firm rock.

"He who builds only on things that are visible and tangible, on success, a career, money -- he is building on sand," he said. "Apparently these are the true realities, but one day they will pass away."

"And in this way, all these things that do not have a true reality to count on. […] He who builds his house on these realities, on material things, on success, on everything that seems to be, builds on sand.

"Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality; it is stable like the heavens and more than the heavens. It is the reality. Therefore, we should change our concept of realism. The realist is he who recognizes in the Word of God, in this reality apparently so fragile, the basis of everything."


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