29th Sunday Ordinary Time – “I pledge allegiance to…”
What we wear signifies our tribe and our allegiance. Tee shirts, jackets, hats, flags, whatever manifest our allegiance. These and many other items are there for purchase to prop up our fragile sense of esteem and buttress our identity by showing we-belong-to-a-successful-group.
Anyone you know say, “We’re number 2!!!” Or, “We’re number 37!!!” So, when Aaron Rogers went down with a broken collarbone, I felt the entire state of Wisconsin deflate – “Our savior is out! We are doomed! We are vulnerable! Our hopes are dashed and our lives ruined!”
- What we wear signifies our tribe and our allegiance.
- And if we’re not number ONE, we’re nobody, right?
Again, this gospel about “Render to Caesar…” is not about taxes. Jesus asked the Pharisees to produce a coin. The only one available (for the most part) had the face of Tiberius Caesar, a Roman god. Jesus unmasked them as idolaters.
What the Pharisees revealed when they pulled the coin out of their man purse was their complicity in a system of belief other than the one directed by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!
What we wear signifies our tribe and our allegiance. It doesn’t only have to do with sports affiliation. But, what we wear displays the ideological group to which we owe allegiance. So, Preppie types, Hippie types, business majors, artists, jocks, overtly religious types.
We signify an allegiance to a system of ideas and practices that doesn’t match up totally with Christian ideals.
We all do that. I wear Creighton hats, sweatshirts, and jackets to signify my allegiance. Which really goes a long way as I walk around the Marquette University campus (!)
I’m just propping up my fragile sense of esteem. You?