29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

First reading: Is. 45:1,4–6

Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp, subduing nations before him, and making kings run in his service, opening doors before him and leaving the gates unbarred: For the sake of Jacob, my servant, of Israel, my chosen one, I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. 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.

Second reading: 1 Th. 1:1–5b

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.

Gospel: Mt. 22:15–21

The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

In other words

by Fr. Anthony Ynzon, SVD (Christ the King Mission Seminary, Quezon City)

A boy and his mom went on a quick trip to the grocery store to buy milk and butter… nothing more, they just ran out of those two things. When it was time to pay, they noticed a long line in the “basket only” or 15-items-below counters while there was one push cart counter with only one customer finishing up with her payment. They proceeded to line up in the pushcart counter but were politely told by an attendant that the basket line was on the other side. Not wanting to “break the rules,” the sharp-witted mother left and returned with an empty push cart and placed their basket inside. The attendant could not stop them now that they have complied with the “rules of Caesar.” Now to comply with the rules of God, both mother and child politely smiled at the attendant and thanked him for reminding them to follow the rules.

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