OMELIE / Omelie EN

22/10/2017 - Sunday 29th of O.T. - A 

22/10/2017 - Sunday 29th of O.T. - A 

Reading 1, Isaiah 45,1.4-6 * Psalm 95 * Reading 2, First Thessalonians 1,1-5 * Gospel, Matthew 22,15-21


Isaiah’s words widen our perspective to include the entire world. This is a great change for the people of Israel. God, our God, holds the entire Earth in His hands, those nations and those people that do not know Him too, even those that do not want to recognize Him. Nothing slips through His fingers, nothing eludes His wisdom and His guidance. Even the new emperor, Cyrus, succeeded on the throne of Babylon, although without knowing it, will fulfill God’s plans. This is why Jesus can peacefully talk about the Roman emperor as well. Is he behaving like a tyrant? But not even he can block the Father’s plan. All the taxes that he collects then are not really a big problem. The problem was there only for some extremist party, always ready to forget God’s word, not even thinking about searching for it in order to find directions in order to take their decisions.

Jesus is interrogated with malice by those parties that have joined forces against Him. At first, these use flattering words, betraying an untruthful way of behaving that for sure Jesus does not overlook. The topic of the questions is the tax that was due to Caesar, the pagan emperor. To pay those taxes to him would mean to recognize his authority over the people, that is the people of God. Jesus does not quote the prophet Isaiah, but He knows his thinking. Caesar too is in God’s hands, who can make use of his authority for the history of salvation. And indeed, the very authority of Caesar will create the condition for the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding Jesus Himself, His passion and His death.

Taxes are not a problem, they are a duty, hints Jesus while asking them to show Him a coin. Even if the coin is a blaspheme object, because it is engraved with the image of a man and the inscription defining him as god, they hold it in their hands and they make use of it. This simple fact of owning already the money of a pagan emperor shows the falsehood hidden in their question. However, Jesus does not become frustrated: their lives and their actions are also in the Father’s hands. This intervention of theirs becomes something providential: this gives Him the possibility to state not only the necessity of giving “Caesar what belongs to Caesar”, but also to add “and God what belongs to God”. Nobody would have expected this bit. Talking about politics, who would ever expect a glancing reference to the faith? Even you are left open-mouthed. Jesus never forgets His Father’s love: this is what gives beauty and meaning to human life and human society. And His love produces love, so if you are aware that you are loved by God, you obviously answer with love.

The word of Jesus today rings in our ears and echoes in our hearts. Each one of us can think and re-think again what this could mean for himself: “and [to] God what belongs to God”. Isaiah said: “It may be known from east to west that there is no one except me”. Everything is a gift from God, everything. Nothing can be considered as separated from Him. If I really was to give “God what belongs to God”, what would I have left?

My life comes from Him, so much so that “no one can ever redeem himself or pay his own ransom to God”. From God I received the ability of whishing and loving, from Him the spirit of communion with the other men, from Him physical health and the intelligence to use it properly. From God come also the benefits of the emperor’s authority, however questionable his tactics is. With this answer, Jesus invites me too to not ever avert my eyes from the Father’s hands! Those are hands that keep benefitting! This is the reason why the Psalm says: “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvels to every people! … All the gods of the nations are idols! It was Yahweh who made the heavens”.

Paul sees the Church, that in the middle of the world lives faith, charity and hope, as the most beautiful fruit of the Word of God. The Church gives “God what belongs to God” with “how active is the faith”, with “how unsparing the love” is and with “how persevering the hope from our Lord Jesus Christ” is. We continue throughout our days this mission that gives fulfillment and joy to our life, cheers up and comforts the brothers’ hearts, and benefits all men, those who do not believe or do not know our God yet, as well.