(Mk 12: 13-17)
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.
An enemy that know how to flatter is deadly dangerous. You do not know when they will spring their trap while honey drips from their lips. You are lulled to complacency. You let your guards down. Jesus had His share of encounter with those whose lips lie at the same time that their hands ready to strike. He is not caught off guard. He does not need human affirmation. Doing His Father’s work was enough for Him. That is why He was not duped by the sweet words of the Pharisees and some Herod’s party. He met their trap head on.
All of us are called to such astuteness in front of the enemy. We are called to love but not to lose our good sense. Jesus seeing through their tricks showed them a great lesson that day. Obeying human laws that upholds order in society is not inimical to one’s relationship with God. Caesar is worthy to receive what is his. Just see to it that what is God’s is for God alone.
Daily Gospel 2017
God, I know, before I was a Christian, I had been a Vietnamese. This reminds me of the sense of responsibility for my homeland, to the worldly life where I was created. In a country that have greatly difficulties, especially when bad and evil are still filled in society, help me to bring the Gospel into the heart of the nation with the life of witness to the Lord. But above all, help me always to fulfill the duty of being a child of God in a life of prayer, of charity with others, and of receiving the Eucharist as a source of energy to help me fulfill my duty. Amen.