29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A Reflection homily.
DO WE RENDER TO GOD WHAT IS HIS?
- Summary of ideas of today’s Sunday Mass readings.
- Render to Caesar what is his and to God, what is God’s.
- Our tribute to God? Give God glory, honor and thanksgiving.
Thanks to Cyrus (a pagan) the Israelites were able to return to their homeland after the captivity of Babylon (1st reading, Is 45:1, 4–6).
- God is realizing His plans for salvation even through people who do not know Him or believe in Him.
- For this reason we Christians pray for the authorities and we must cooperate in everything that is good and just, even if sometimes they are not believers.
In that same line, Jesus tells us in the Gospel (Mt 22:15–21) to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And what is to be rendered to God? “Give the Lord glory and honor (Responsorial Psalm).”
Elected by God and moved by the Holy Spirit, we have believed in the Gospel. Let us give thanks to God for this (2nd reading, 1 Thes 1:1–5b).
Our Lord’s answer is at once so profound that the Pharisees and the Herodians fail to grasp its meaning, and it is also faithful to his preaching about the Kingdom of God: give Caesar what is his due, but no more, because God must assuredly be given what he has a right to.
- What has Caesar a right to receive? Taxes, which are necessary for legitimate state expenses. What must God be given? Obviously, obedience to all his commandments — which implies personal love and commitment. Jesus’ reply goes beyond the human horizons of his temptors, far beyond the simple yes and no they wanted to draw out of him.
- Furthermore, his words show that he recognized civil authority and its rights, but he made it quite clear that the superior rights of God must be respected (cf. Vatican II, Dignitatis humanae, 11), and pointed out that it is part of God’s will that we faithfully fulfil our civic duties (cf. Rom 13:1-7).
Let us not forget that all that we have and all that we are come from God. As such, in all the earthly realities, we must seek, find, love and give glory to God.
“I am the Lord and there is no other, there is no God besides me. It is I who arm you, though you know me not, so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun people may know that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, there is no other. Is 45:1, 4–6.”
The problem which pervades since the beginning of the world is man’s denial of God and his subsequent search and substitution of God with his own self or what is worldly, thereby falling into idolatry.
Let us reject this treacherous and idolatrous attitude which not only denies and offends God but also dehumanizes man: “Without the Creator, the creature vanishes (Gaudium et spes, n. 36).” Through our faithful daily struggle, let us give God glory, honor, and thanksgiving in all that we do.
“God created everything for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him. Catechism 358.”
- To serve and love God: this is the tribute which God deserves from each one of us, His children. Let us “Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (Psalm 95)” through our effort to conform our will to God’s will and our struggle to live a life coherent to our Faith for love of God.
- Only then shall we “Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life (Gospel acclamation)” and thus give a worthy tribute to God, who deserves to be adored, praised, loved and glorified above all things.
Almighty ever-living God, grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart. Collect prayer of the Mass.
FOR THE 29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A COMPLETE MASS PRAYERS AND READINGS, CLICK HERE.
FOR POPE FRANCIS’ REFLECTION ON THE 29TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A, CLICK HERE.