29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Rev. Fr.  Isaac.  A. Mensah 

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29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Rev. Fr.  Isaac.  A. Mensah

First Reading: Isaiah 45:1.4-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96
Second Reading: 1Thess 1:1-5b
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:15-21


Theme: God’s Signature


The ability to recognize and identify people is a key social function. It is also a complex one, taking inputs from several modalities. However, face recognition and handwriting/signature are often the most studied ones. A cursory look at the readings of today especially the gospel belabour this point.

Explanation of the Text

In today’s gospel the Pharisees are trying desperately to get rid of Jesus. If he says you can pay taxes to Caesar, then he’s on the side of the Romans and the Jewish people who hated the Romans would become his enemy. But if Jesus says not to pay Caesar, then he’s guilty of treason and they can hand him over to the Romans.

Somehow, Jesus saw straight through this. The famous reply of Jesus, ‘To Caesar what belongs to Caesar; and to God what belongs to God’ is not a clever evasion, as we may be led to think. With this reply, he turns the question back on his interrogators – taking the discussion beyond the level of the partisanship they are trying to exploit, he tells them that they are faced by a decision of conscience.

In other words, His answer was not just clever. It had a very basic message that we often forget—God is in control, not us! We don’t need to try and manipulate God. The invitation of Jesus to look unto the coin and examine whose image and signature are there, is very deep. If the coin bears the image and signature of Caesar then he owns it. But the question is what belongs to God and needs to be given Him?

Among all the creatures of God , the only thing that bears His image is the human person. In Genesis 1:27 we read that ‘so God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him;male and female He created them’.
God is without a doubt the greatest artist of all time.

God can remold and reshape broken vessel. Since we bear the image of God we need to revert to Him in our brokenness. When our lives become marred and out of shape we need to surrender unto Him for His molding. He can remold our misshaped vessel into the work of art. If in our first reading He did use a foreign nay a pagan King Cyrus to bring freedom to the people of Israel then He is capable of doing anything.

In the midst of our brokenness and despair, God is always there. Even during the times we experience an overwhelming lack of self-worth, God loves us with an unconditional love. And this is exactly what St Paul expresses in our second reading.

If we come to God, the Master Artist will remove the smudges and stains that hide His signature on us and we will be restored. Remember you’re God’s Signature and everything that bears God’s Signature is destined to last.



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