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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection
Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

October 19, 2014—Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  Matthew 22:15-21

by
Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Recently a taxpayer found out how thoughtful the IRS can be. They called him in for an audit, and when it was over they smiled warmly and said, "We’ll call you a cab." "No thanks," he told them, "I have a car." They said, "That’s what you think." The government has ways of getting what it wants.

In Jesus’ time the Romans ruled Israel with armies and political power. They levied heavy taxes. In today’s Gospel Jesus’ enemies try to trap him by asking whether they should pay the Roman census tax. He instead puts them on the spot by asking them to show him a Roman coin. Jesus himself doesn’t even possess such a coin!

Since the coin comes from Caesar, the leader of the Roman government, Jesus tells his questioners to "repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar." More important, he reminds all people that we have responsibilities toward God. We must give "to God what belongs to God."

All creation comes from God and belongs to God. God gives us our lifetime, our talents, our possessions. God is Creator, Protector, Redeemer, and Judge. Yet we can get so busy with details of everyday life that we forget to give to God what belongs to God.

A good place to start would be the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity:

•By faith we believe in God and accept the truths that God reveals. We express our faith by professing it, by good works, and by sharing it with others.

•By hope we desire heaven as our final goal and have confident assurance of achieving it with God’s help.

•By charity we love God above all, and our neighbor as ourselves. True charity is modeled on Christ’s unconditional love and helps us keep God’s law faithfully.

At every Mass we should express our faith, hope, and charity in enthusiastic worship. We should begin each day with acts of faith, hope, and charity. The government takes its share out of our paychecks. God doesn’t deduct. He invites. Our Blessed Mother shows us how to respond to this invitation. She gives her all to God: "I am the handmaid of the Lord."


Read last week's reflection.