Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time - 6th June 2017
Reading 1, Tobit 2:9-14
9 That night I took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered.
10 I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. This caused white spots to form, which I went to have treated by the doctors. But the more ointments they tried me with, the more the spots blinded me, and in the end, I become completely blind. I remained without sight four years; all my brothers were distressed on my behalf; and Ahikar provided for my upkeep for two years, until he left for Elymais.
11 My wife Anna then undertook woman's work; she would spin wool and take cloth to weave;
12 she used to deliver whatever had been ordered from her and then receive payment. Now on the seventh day of the month of Dystros, she finished a piece of work and delivered it to her customers. They paid her all that was due, and into the bargain presented her with a kid for a meal.
13 When the kid came into my house, it began to bleat. I called to my wife and said, 'Where does this creature come from? Suppose it has been stolen! Let the owners have it back; we have no right to eat stolen goods'.
14 She said, 'No, it was a present given me over and above my wages.' I did not believe her, and told her to give it back to the owners (I felt deeply ashamed of her). To which, she replied, 'What about your own alms? What about your own good works? Everyone knows what return you have had for them.'
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 112:1-2, 7-8, 9
The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
1 Alleluia! How blessed is anyone who fears Yahweh, who delights in his commandments!
2 His descendants shall be powerful on earth, the race of the honest shall receive blessings:
7 Bad news holds no fears for him, firm is his heart, trusting in Yahweh.
8 His heart held steady, he has no fears, till he can gloat over his enemies.
9 To the needy he gives without stint, his uprightness stands firm for ever; his reputation is founded on strength.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Mark 12:13-17
"Give to God what belongs to God"
13 Next they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said.
14 These came and said to him, 'Master, we know that you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because human rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or not?'
15 Recognising their hypocrisy he said to them, 'Why are you putting me to the test? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.'
16 They handed him one and he said to them, 'Whose portrait is this? Whose title?' They said to him, 'Caesar's.'
17 Jesus said to them, 'Pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar -- and God what belongs to God.' And they were amazed at him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: This story has another deeper meaning as well. We, too, have been stamped with God's image since we are created in his own likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). We rightfully belong, not to ourselves, but to God who created us and redeemed us in the precious blood of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Paul the Apostle says that we are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1). Do you acknowledge that your life belongs to God and not to yourself? And do you give to God what rightfully belongs to Him?
Prayer: "Lord, because you have made me, I owe you the whole of my love; because you have redeemed me, I owe you the whole of myself; because you have promised so much, I owe you all my being. Moreover, I owe you as much more love than myself as you are greater than I, for whom you gave yourself and to whom you promised yourself. I pray you, Lord, make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge; let me know by love what I know by understanding. I owe you more than my whole self, but I have no more, and by myself I cannot render the whole of it to you. Draw me to you, Lord, in the fullness of love. I am wholly yours by creation; make me all yours, too, in love." Amen(prayer of Anselm, 1033-1109)
We belong to God and not to ourselves.