3 May 2020. 4th Sun Easter. Cycle A-2020. Acts 2:14a, 36-41 + 1Pt 2:20b-25 + Jn 10:1-10
[T]he sheep follow [the shepherd] because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers. (Jn 10:4b-5).
The spoon and the fork is like the Church and the State. The spoon and fork is distinct and separate from each other. The Church and State is distinct and separate from each other.
Better than the fork, the spoon scoops liquids and cereals. Better than the spoon, the fork picks solids and noodles. Better than separately, together the spoon and the fork feed the mouth.
Better than the Church, the State feeds the body for life here and now. Better than the State, the Church feeds the soul for life there and after. Better than separately, together the Church and the State establish justice and peace.
When the spoon shoves out the fork, and feeds the mouth by itself, it troubles eating. When the fork shoves out the spoon, and feeds the mouth by itself, it prolongs eating.
When the State shoves out the Church, and builds the nation by itself, it troubles peace. When the Church shoves out the State, and builds the nation by itself, it impedes progress.
The Church guides, while the State drives. As Jesus taught in the Gospel, God gave each one distinct and separate authority over us; hence, we are to respect and obey their respective authority because each one does us good.
Repay the state with tax; and repay the Church with tithe. Follow the state-set physical guidelines; and follow the church-set spiritual guidelines (cf. Mt 22:21; 1Pt 2:13; Rom 13:1-7).
Just as separating the body from the soul is not easy, so does separating state authority from church authority. Conflict, thus, arises when each oversteps each other’s authority. But when state and church authority conflicts, Peter and Paul advised, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), for He is the one who gave authority to both the Church and the State (cf. Rom 13:1). VSS
Picture credit: Inset photo of Pope Benedict XVI and U.S. President George H.W. Bush, and photo of spoon and fork by Pixabay on Pexels.com.