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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Tuesday of the 9 th Week of Ordinary Time Download This Homily

Tobit 2:9-14 ;

Psalm 112:1-2, 7-9;

Gospel MK 12:13-17


Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion.
You do not regard a person's status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?"
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
"Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at."
They brought one to him and he said to them,
"Whose image and inscription is this?"
They replied to him, "Caesar's."
So Jesus said to them,
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
They were utterly amazed at him.

 

Stamped with God’s Image


In today’s Gospel we see the enemies dragging Jesus into a religious-state dispute over the issue of taxes, a clever trap they set from which they though he could never escape unharmed. To monitor and celebrate the victory over their common enemy they even invited the fanatic religious zealots Pharisees and the equally dangerous Herodians who would do anything to defend their king and his sovereignty. If Jesus answered that it was lawful to pay taxes to a pagan ruler, then he would lose credibility with the Jewish populace who would regard him as a coward and a friend of Caesar. If he said it was not lawful, then the Herodians would have grounds to report him to the Roman authorities as a political trouble-maker and have him arrested. With a cynical intend to inflate the ego of Jesus they even showered on him flowery and extravagant praises: “Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God.” However, Jesus was not carried away by their dishonest flattery. Wanting to expose their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it” - a response that they never expected. They brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” Jesus right away delivered his final verdict, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This pronouncement of Jesus was not just one of his amazing escape acts but the universal declaration of the one and the only way to peace and justice in this world – “Give to Caesar his due and to God the things that are God’s.” Every problem we face here on earth is due to the failure to follow this teaching of Jesus. We hear St Paul repeating this very same teaching in his letter to Romans that we must give each what is their due (Rom 13:6-8). In fact, do we have anything that we do not owe God and others?


This story has another deeper meaning as well. We, too, have been stamped with God’s image since we are created in his own likeness (Gen 1:26-27). We rightfully belong, not to ourselves, but to God who created us and redeemed us in the precious blood of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor 6:19-20). St Paul says that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1). Do we acknowledge that our life belongs to God and not to ourselves? And do we give to God what rightfully belongs to Him and to our fellow being what they deserve?


Dr. Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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