29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalter week I
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. 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.’
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 Thessalonians 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 from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 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: Jn17:17
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
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.
Have you noticed how fond we are of trying to separate the different areas of our lives? There is work time and leisure time, secular time and sacred time, in short, there is the realm where we “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s” and the realm where we render “to God what is God’s”, in an almost equitable division between the temporal and the spiritual. But isn’t this a rather quick reading of Christ’s words? The question posed to Jesus only concerns a material aspect. Jesus answers on another level: he brings God into the discussion. So, we should not understand his answer in terms of sharing and hierarchy. Jesus thus tells us that there is only one absolute, God. And if each temporal thing has its place, it acquires it in relation to God who is the absolute. So in our daily dealings, let what is Caesar’s become for us a path to God.