God demands that our priorities never usurp his rightful place

| Deacon Ben Hadrich | October 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

“I am the Lord and there is no other, there is no God besides me.” This prophecy of Isaiah is as crucial to proclaim now as it was during the reign of King Cyrus 2,500 years ago.

Our society is one that sets forth and encourages the worship of many false gods. If you are reading this paper, you could probably list many examples of these. Power, money, possessions, sports and fame come to my mind as possible competitors to the only God.

In knowing there is only one God, we must then “put first things first.” In themselves, power, money, possessions, sports and fame are not bad things. In fact, when put at the service of the only God, they can do great good in building up his kingdom! But this can only be done when God is first in our lives. Is he?

We know the prophecy of Isaiah is true — there is only one God. Yet, we must go beyond knowing this fact about God to spread this Good News in our world.

Indeed, Isaiah went on to explain that God prepared him so that people may know there is “none besides me.” We must: “Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.”

Leading by living

We “tell his glory” by first living our lives for God — not only in church Sunday mornings, but also in how we attend classes at school, participate in sports, carry ourselves at work and raise children.

We are then called to actively evangelize — to speak about Christ and the works he has done in our lives.

St. Paul gives us confidence to do that. He notes, “For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.”

We can trust that the Lord will give us power in the Holy Spirit to be convicted in our love for him, both in our words and deeds.
This does not require a doctorate in theology, the persuasive skills of an orator or the charm of a movie star. It requires only living out the reality that there is one God in our own lives and by putting him first.

It is only after giving to God what is God’s that we can give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Deacon Ben Hadrich is in formation for the priesthood at The St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Duluth. His home parish is Holy Family in McGregor and his teaching parish is St. John the Evangelist in Duluth.


Sunday, Oct. 16
29th Sunday in
ordinary time
• Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
• 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b
• Matthew 22:15-21

For reflection
Recall a specific action and time that you placed God first and set an example for someone else.

Category: The Lesson Plan