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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.10.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.10.2023


ISAIAH 45: 1, 4 – 6

Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and uncover the loins of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed: “For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I surname you, though you do not know me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I clothe you, though you do not know me, that men may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 96: 1 and 3, 4 – 5, 7 – 8, 9 – 10a and c (R.) 7b.

R/. Give the Lord glory and power.

O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Tell among the nations his glory,
And his wonders among all the peoples. R/.

For the Lord is great and highly to be praised,
To be feared above all gods.
For the gods of the nations are naught.
It was the Lord who made the heavens. R/.

Give the LORD, you families of peoples,
Give the LORD glory and power;
Give the LORD the glory of his name.
Bring an offering and enter his courts. R/.

Worship the LORD in holy splendor.
O tremble before him, all the earth.
Say to the nations, “The LORD is king.
He will judge the peoples in fairness. R/.

Remember your faith, love, and hope.

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father our work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; for our Gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.

The Word of the Lord.

Philippians 2: 15d – 16a.

You will shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life.

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s
MATTHEW 22: 15 – 21

At that time: The Pharisees went and took counsel how to entangle Jesus in his talk. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it Lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the money for the tax.” And they brought him a coin. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Resolving Conflict
October 22, 2023

The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap him in speech. 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. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” (Matthew 22:15–17)

It has been said that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In other words, two people who are enemies with each other will often join together if they see an opportunity to jointly attack an even greater enemy. This is what was happening in today’s Gospel. Jesus was considered the greatest enemy of the Pharisees and the Herodians, and both of these groups joined together in a plot to trap Jesus even though they greatly disliked each other.

The Pharisees were very nationalistic and were strict observers of the Law of Moses. It was their view that the people should not have to pay taxes to the Romans, and many of the people agreed. The Herodians supported the Romans and, therefore, were supporters of Herod, the Jewish ruler appointed by the Roman Emperor. One of Herod’s responsibilities was to obtain taxes from the Jews for use by the Roman government. Those who opposed the paying of taxes to the Romans could even be put to death.

This joint questioning of Jesus had one goal: to get Him in trouble. If Jesus said it was unlawful to pay taxes to Caesar, Herod’s soldiers could arrest Him. If Jesus said that the people should pay taxes to Caesar, the Pharisees could turn the people against Him. It appeared to be a lose-lose question posed to Jesus. Of course, Jesus’ answer was perfect. Without violating the Law of God, He also refrained from violating the civil law. Upon hearing His answer, all who heard Him “were amazed, and leaving him they went away.”

The lesson learned from this passage is an especially important lesson to apply to family life. It is very common for conflicts to arise from time to time among those who are close to each other. When that happens, we can often take the approach of trying to trap the other person and trip them up with our deceptive reasoning. When this happens between two people, the conversation often turns into a shouting match with each party seeking only to find fault with the other. The solution to such situations is simple. Every conflict must be resolved by the truth. Jesus did this perfectly. He did not attack when He was attacked. He did not defend Himself irrationally. He did not shy away from the confrontation. He did not manipulate the truth to His own advantage. Instead, He spoke openly and honestly the full truth and refused to engage his opponents in their trickery.

Consider this question. What if you were in Jesus’ position and the Pharisees came to you, asking you this question? What would you be tempted to answer? Most likely, you would try to answer them in such a way that appeased them. You might whisper, “We shouldn’t pay the taxes but don’t tell that to the Herodians.” And if the Herodians were to ask you that question, you might be tempted to give a different answer that appeased them.

Oftentimes, when we feel as though another person is trying to trap us, condemn us, or challenge us, we become more concerned about our defense than with the honest truth. We can become afraid to say anything that will give them reason to attack us. We will be tempted to twist our answers rather than speak forthrightly with sincerity and honesty. This will never resolve a conflict. The only way to resolve anything is with the truth.

Reflect, today, upon how you work to resolve conflict when it arises. Are you more like the Pharisees and Herodians whose only goal was to trick, trap and win? Do you see the other as an enemy in those moments? Or do you strive to be like Jesus who didn’t shy away from the conversation, answering honestly and directly? Of course, the truth was easy for Jesus since He was without any fault. In our lives, the truth may require that we admit our sin and apologize when confronted. However, if the truth, the full truth and nothing but the truth is our goal, then our conversations will imitate Jesus and, most often, a peaceful resolution will ensue.

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