sunday 18 October 2020
TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
St. Luke, Evangelist
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 16: 6, 8
To you I call; for you will surely heed me, O God; turn your ear to me; hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me.
Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he has taken by his right hand to subdue nations before him and strip the loins of kings, to force gateways before him that their gates be closed no more: ‘It is for the sake of my servant Jacob, of Israel my chosen one, that I have called you by your name, conferring a title though you do not know me. I am the Lord, unrivalled; there is no other God besides me. Though you do not know me, I arm you that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that, apart from me, all is nothing.’
Psalm 95(96):1, 3-5, 7-10
R/ Give the Lord glory and power.
- O sing a new song to the Lord, sing to the Lord all the earth. Tell among the nations his glory and his wonders among all the peoples.
- The Lord is great and worthy of praise, to be feared above all gods; the gods of the heathens are naught. It was the Lord who made the heavens,
- Give the Lord, you families of peoples, give the Lord glory and power; give the Lord the glory of his name. Bring an offering and enter his courts.
- Worship the Lord in his temple. O earth, tremble before him. Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’ He will judge the peoples in fairness.
Second reading: 1 Thes 1:1-5
From Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonika which is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; wishing you grace and peace. We always mention you in our prayers and thank God for you all, and constantly remember before God our Father how you have shown your faith in action, worked for love and persevered through hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ. We know, brothers, that God loves you and that you have been chosen, because when we brought the Good News to you, it came to you not only as words, but as power and as the Holy Spirit and as utter conviction.
Gospel Acclamation : Jn 17:17
Alleluia, alleluia! Your word is truth, O Lord: consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia!
Gospel : Matthew 22:15-21
The Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you. Tell us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why do you set this trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.’ They handed him a denarius, and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they replied. He then said to them, ‘Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant us, Lord, we pray, a sincere respect for your gifts, that, through the purifying action of your grace, we may be cleansed by the very mysteries we serve. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 32: 18-19
Behold, the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, who hope in his merciful love, to rescue their souls from death, to keep them alive in famine.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, O Lord, we pray, that, benefiting from participation in heavenly things, we may be helped by what you give in this present age and prepared for the gifts that are eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
“Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This famous statement has been interpreted in so many ways. It is often cited as a reason to drive religious authorities from “politics”. Those who still hang on to traditional practices and rituals, and want to justify their acts cite this passage too. Rulers use this to keep church authority subservient to that of the nation. Some pertinent questions arise: Must we obey all the laws of our nation? When there are laws that transgress God’s Law or our Christian values, are we obliged to obey them? In effect, what belongs to God? Things become more complicated when we read from Saint Paul that “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-4). This passage makes it abundantly clear that we are to obey the government God places over us. At the same time we must give to God what belongs to him. In the Acts 5:27-29, Peter and the other apostles insisted that : “We must obey God rather than men!” How do we solve this solves the puzzle! Thomas Gumbleton’s words say it all! ‘Everything belongs to God, even Caesar’s coins’.