Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 22nd October 2023

‘Give to God what belongs to God’

Today’s readings concentrate on God as ruler over all the world.

The First Reading teaches us about the relationship between God and Cyrus, one of the most powerful earthly rulers. Even though Cyrus did not know God, God works through him, giving Cyrus all that he needs to help accomplish God’s plans.

The Psalmist calls us to speak of the Lord’s greatness and glory throughout the world, and to pay him worship and honour.

In the Second Reading, St Paul gives thanks to God and prays for the Christian community in Thessalonica. Chosen and loved by God, the community – aided by the power of the Holy Spirit, and strengthened by its faith and hope in God – continues in its work.

The Gospel message is that we belong completely to God and are therefore called to offer God our entire selves. Jesus is aware that the Pharisees and Herodians are trying to trip him up when they ask if Jewish people should pay taxes to the Romans. Although he confirms that this is reasonable, at the same time he also affirms that our first duty is to serve God, and to give God what is due.

This week, maybe we can pray for the rulers and leaders of our world, particularly during these difficult times. We ask that God will work through them towards justice and peace. We pray too that the Holy Spirit will guide each of us in how we can serve God best.