TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cyrus is a pagan king who allows the exiled Jews to return to their own land. Isaiah tells us that he is the Lord’s anointed. This shows us that God will use anyone to fulfill His will. God will find someone to do His work even if His Chosen People reject His offers. Let us receive God’s anointing and the graces He gives.
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp, subduing nations before him, and making kings run in his service, opening doors before him and leaving the gates unbarred. 4 For the sake of Jacob, my servant, of Israel my chosen one, I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. 5 I am the Lord and there is no other, there is no God besides me. It is I who arm you, though you know me not, 6 so that toward the rising and the setting of the sun people may know that there is none besides me. I am the Lord, there is no other.
Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10
R: Give the Lord glory and honor.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 4 For great is the Lord and highly to be praised; awesome is he, beyond all gods. 5 For all the gods of the nations are things of nought, but the Lord made the heavens. (R) 7 Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and praise; 8 give to the Lord the glory due his name! Bring gifts, and enter his courts. (R) 9 Worship the Lord in holy attire. Tremble before him, all the earth; 10 say among the nations: the Lord is king, he governs the peoples with equity. (R)
To persevere in hope means we believe God is working in our lives even when He is silent. He is always working to fulfill His will for us. Hope comes into play when we cannot experience God’s presence. It helps us believe that He continues to work for our good.
1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: grace to you and peace. 2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly 3 calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father, 4 knowing, brothers and sisters loved by God, how you were chosen. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.
There is a separation between Church and state. Today’s Gospel tells us that the state has been given authority by God to govern the lives of people on earth. We owe allegiance and support to the state. However, if a state becomes unrighteous and promotes evil, then we have no obligation to support it. With rights come duties and responsibilities.
Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life.
15 The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. 16 They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. 17 Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” 18 Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin. 20 He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” 21 They replied, “Caesar’s.” At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”