I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for October 16, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 22:15-21

My Reflections:
The Pharisees were always critical of Jesus because they saw Jesus as a threat to their religious dominance. This was the reason that they’ve been plotting against Him (Mt 12:14) and our gospel episode today is part of their elaborate plan. But Jesus was aware of their dangerous scheme against Him; He knows before hand their detailed plan to unconscionably kill Him.

They asked Jesus this very elementary question: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?"  They thought that they will pin Him down with this question because if Jesus will say that it is lawful the people will get angry with Him because paying this tax was abhorred by them thus it will harm His reputation as a charismatic leader. If Jesus will say that it is unlawful then He will be persecuted by the powerful roman government of that time.

In the minds of the Pharisees it seems that Jesus has no way out here, but Jesus knew beforehand about their immoral plan. Therefore He said to them:"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites! So He asked for the coin used to pay the tax and He said: Whose image is on the coin? And they said, Caesar! Jesus said to them give to Caesar what is his and to God what belongs to God and once again Jesus is able to extricate Himself from this immoral scheming of the Pharisees.

Jesus knows everything what is in our hearts: Our devious pretensions, our evil plans to betray our fellowmen. Our plans to use God for our own selfish interest and our many more evil thoughts, He knows everything about it.

Let us also honestly give the tax that is due to the authorities let us not try to deceitfully avoid it for this is our moral duty.

And the most important is we must give to God what is rightfully His. And what are these? Let us give help to our church, let us extend help to the poor in wealth and spirit and most of all, let us  give our everything to God. ...