Question: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, “Testing”? Testing happens in many circumstances and in numerous ways, not just in school or the doctor’s office. The readings today speak about this concept. 

In the first reading, the phrase “beloved…be on your guard not to be led into…error,” really stands out. I can be led into error as soon as the alarm goes off each morning! If I open up my smart device and start scrolling through email, social media or any number of things that take time away from my routine, there is a domino effect on my day. A choice is made constantly, out of habit or judgment, to stay on the path of The Way in all circumstances. Does my selection keep me off the slippery slope of temptation or lead me to regret or sin?

Jesus knew the Pharisees and Herodians hearts and minds concerning a question of paying census tax to Caesar. “Why are you testing me?”, He replied. Perhaps Jesus was tempted to be demeaning, sarcastic, or dodge the question. He did not answer with an omission and half truth, but chose to answer them directly and in a manner of truthful fact.

There is some really interesting reading in the Catechism of the Church. This Gospel passage is quoted directly. (see CCC 2242). There is quite a lot to think about in this chapter concerning living life as a Christian in society. I can see how easily I can be caught off guard and trapped in my words. I have to remember that the other is a divinely made person to be treated with respect, as Jesus did with those who were trying to test and entrap Him in His words and deeds.

Lord Jesus, open my ears, heart, and mind to follow Your will in my life. Guardian Angel, give me the guidance, patience and strength to make better choices throughout my day. Help me to stop the sarcasm or biting words that can put down or wound others when I act or speak. I pray to grow in grace and knowledge of You and The Way. Amen.

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