Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday Reflections and Prayers




Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday Reflections and Prayers

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 145

1st 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.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10

R. (7b) Give the Lord glory and honor.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Give the Lord glory and honor.
For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.
R. Give the Lord glory and honor.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts.
R. Give the Lord glory and honor.
Worship the LORD, in holy attire;
tremble before him, all the earth;
say among the nations: The LORD is king,
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Give the Lord glory and honor.

2nd Reading – 1 THES 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.

Alleluia – PHIL 2:15D, 16A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Shine like lights in the world
as you hold on to the word of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

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.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Overcoming the Trickery of Evil

Saint John Paul II, Pope – Optional Memorial

The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap him 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?” Matthew 22:15-18

The Pharisees were “hypocrites” filled with “malice.” They were also cowards in that they would not even act on their own malicious plot. Instead, they sent some of their own disciples to try to trap Jesus. From the point of view of worldly wisdom, they set a very good trap. Most likely, the Pharisees sat and discussed this plot in great detail, instructing these messengers on exactly what to say.

They began by complimenting Jesus telling Him they know He is a “truthful man.” They then go on to say that they know Jesus is “not concerned with anyone’s opinion.” These two accurate qualities of Jesus are spoken because the Pharisees believe they can use them as the foundation of their trap. If Jesus is truthful and not concerned about other’s opinions then surely they expect Him to declare that there is no need to pay the temple tax. The result of such a statement by Jesus would be that He would be arrested by the Romans.

The sad truth is that the Pharisees spend a tremendous amount of energy plotting and planning this malicious trap. What a waste of time! And the glorious truth is that Jesus spends hardly any energy dismantling their plot and revealing them for the malicious hypocrites they are. He states, “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Matthew 22:21).

In our own lives, there are times when we may find ourselves face to face with the malicious intent and plotting of another. Though this may be rare for some, it does happen. Often times, the effect of such a plot is that we become deeply disturbed and lose our peace. But Jesus endured such malice so as to show us the way to handle the attacks and traps we may encounter in life. The answer is to stay grounded in the Truth and to respond with the wisdom of God. God’s wisdom penetrates and foils every human act of malice and trickery. God’s wisdom is able to overcome everything.

Reflect, today, upon how deeply you trust the wisdom of God to guide you through life. You cannot make it on your own. There are traps and snares that will inevitably come your way. Trust in His wisdom and abandon yourself to His perfect will and you will find that He will guide you every step of the way.

Lord, I entrust my life to Your perfect wisdom and care. Protect me from all trickery and guard me from the plots of the evil one. Jesus, I trust in You.

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