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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (2Pt 3:12-15a.17-18): Beloved: Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace. And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation. Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability. But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm: 89
R/. In every age, o Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

You turn man back to dust, saying, «Return, O children of men». For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night.

Seventy is the sum of our years, or eighty, if we are strong, and most of them are fruitless toil, for they pass quickly and we drift away.

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children.
Versicle before the Gospel (Cf. Ef 1:17-18): Alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to his call. Alleluia.
Gospel text (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.

«Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God»

Fr. Manuel SÁNCHEZ Sánchez (Sevilla, Spain)

Today, we marvel again at Christ's wit and wisdom. With his masterly response, He directly points out to the fair autonomy of the worldly realities: “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar” (Mk 12:17).

Today's Word, however, is something more than knowing how to successfully get out of a conflict; it is something utterly relevant to all aspects of our life: what am I giving God? Is it really what I value the most in my life? Where did I place my heart? Because... “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Lk 12:34).

Yes, indeed, according to St. Jerome, “you must necessarily render unto Caesar the coin in his image; but you willingly give your best to God, because it is his image, not Caesar's, that is on us”. Throughout his life, Jesus Christ constantly poses the matter of choice. It is up to us to choose, and our options are clear: either we choose the worldly values to live by or we decide to live by the Gospel's values.

It is always a time for choice before us, a time for conversion, a time to “replace” our life again in the dynamics of God. Our prayer, and specially the prayer made by God's Word, will allow us to discover what God expects of us. He who chooses God becomes God's dwelling place, for “whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (Jn 14:23). And prayer becomes the true school where, as Tertullian says, “Christ teaches us which was the Father's will He carried out in this world and what was the duty of man so that it is in agreement with this very purpose”. If only we would succeed in choosing what is most convenient to us!