Twenty-ninth Ordinary Sunday
Things that should be given to God
Points to note
This is a simple and well-known story but there seems to be a dearth of materials in the story to make a good discussion. It is recommended that we concentrate on idea that we are citizens of two societies and that we contribute to both.
Acclamation before the Gospel
You will shine in the world like bright stars
because you are offering it the word of life.
Explain that Pharisees are Jews who believes that the only way to heaven is to follow strictly all laws to the point that laws can even be more important than love.
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with your spirit.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew
All: Glory to you O Lord
(Mt 22: 15-21)
The Pharisees went to discuss between them how to trap Jesus in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, “Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you. Tell us your opinion, then. Are we allowed to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” But Jesus was aware of their intentions and replied, “You hypocrites! Why do you set this trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.” They handed him a coin and he said, “Whose head is this on the coin? Whose name?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He then said to them, “Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar - and to God what belongs to God.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Do we not belong to two families? God’s family and our family at home. Discuss the similarities of the two families: each has a head, all members know each other, etc. Concentrate on the fact that each member has obligations to each other in the families. Discuss the kind of work we do for each other in each of the families.
Explain that we also belong to two societies: the human society and the divine. Each has its own set of rules: the laws of society and the laws of the Bible. Discuss the obligations of each set of laws.
Who is the head of the government? Who is the head of the Church. The king/prime minister/president and God. Do we owe anything to them? To answer this, what are the symbols of government? A dollar note. Actually, it can be any symbol, but try to lead them to a symbol with a picture of the king/queen/president on it, e.g., in a government office, a picture of the king/queen/president on the wall or a stamp with the king’s/queen’s/president’s picture on it. Eventually, lead them back to the dollar note.
Discuss the symbol of the Church: the crucifix. What God asks of us is in that symbol: for us to do things for him out of love. Discuss what else that is on the crucifix that God requires from us.