In writing this reflection, I could not help but be influenced by the many events in my life. As we get older, we become aware that many of our acquaintances and friends are undergoing health issues. They ask for our prayers. Regarding the state of the world, we are aware of the many conflicts that result in war. Recently, our attention has been on Israel and Palestine. A number of years ago we were privileged to travel in this area and became aware of the walls that separate Bethlehem prohibiting some from entering Israel. Again, we are called to pray for those who are suffering.
As I think about these events, I am reminded that my spiritual life is heavily influenced by the happenings in my life. Sometimes there is a tendency for us to compartmentalize our lives. We separate our religious life from our daily life. We need to integrate our lives in such a way that when we are called to pray we might have an understanding of what is actually important.
In this week’s Gospel from the community of Matthew, the Pharisees and Herodians want to trick Jesus regarding the payment of taxes. They indicate that they know he is one who speaks the truth. They say he is one who teaches the way of God. I am thus reminded that I need to seek truth. I need to be aware of what causes conflict in war torn areas. I need to even know the truth about health issues. Having been made in the image of God, it is truth that all humanity is made in the image of God. When I am urged to pray for various situations, I need to base my prayers on a God who through his son, Jesus Christ, has come for the salvation of all people in all situations. May we pray for all those who need our prayers and may we pray that they experience God walking with them even in the most difficult situations.