JUNE 1. Ord Time B. Wk. 9. Tues. Mk.12. 13-17
Updated: Sep 10
The chief priests and the scribes and the elders sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’ Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him. Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This reply took them completely by surprise.
Mankind places great value on “wisdom” and many people spend their whole lives pursuing it but human wisdom and divine wisdom are poles apart.
Human wisdom is based on human rules and laws, some of which are determined by research and facts, but it is always determined by human parameters determined by humans.
Divine wisdom however is determined by God and, as a result, is of much greater significance.
Christ came among us to reveal divine wisdom and in today’s reading we have an example of where the two “wisdoms” clash. The Pharisees believed their wisdom reigned supreme, and they were endeavouring to demonstrate this when they confronted the Son of God.
“Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not? Yes, or No?” as if to indicate they would tolerate no nonsense from Jesus.
The response they received surprised them, as Jesus endorsed and approved of their wisdom and laws; - but he went on to point out that there was a higher wisdom, which was also more important than human wisdom; - and this was the teaching that they needed to understand.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’ This reply took them completely by surprise”.
Sadly, many of God’s people go through life never looking beyond human wisdom, human teachings, and human laws; - and they remain completely unaware of God’s Wisdom that was proclaimed to us by Jesus Christ.
One only has to look at the Sermon on the Mount to see an example of divine wisdom, and how different it is from human wisdom; - ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit’ being a good example.
The World, and the Pharisees, would have us believe that in order to find happiness we must follow “the wisdom of the world”.
Jesus, the Church, and the Gospels however disagree, proclaiming that in order to find happiness we must follow “the wisdom of God” that was proclaimed to us by the Son of God!
The World would have us seek “success”; - while Christ would have us seek “holiness!”
Both can rightfully be seen as “wise”; - however only one places the focus on Eternal Life!
Gospel Acclamation. cf.Ep1:17-18
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our heart
that we may see how great is the hope
to which we are called.
First reading Tobit 2:9-14 ·
'Everyone knows what return you have had for your good works'
I, Tobit, took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered. I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. White spots then formed, which I was obliged to have treated by the doctors. But the more ointments they tried me with, the more the spots blinded me, and in the end I became blind altogether. I remained without sight four years; all my brothers were distressed; and Ahikar provided for my upkeep for two years, till he left for Elymais.
My wife Anna then undertook woman’s work; she would spin wool and take cloth to weave; she used to deliver whatever had been ordered from her and then receive payment. Now on March the seventh she finished a piece of work and delivered it to her customers. They paid her all that was due, and into the bargain presented her with a kid for a meal. When the kid came into my house, it began to bleat. I called to my wife and said, ‘Where does this creature come from? Suppose it has been stolen! Quick, let the owners have it back; we have no right to eat stolen goods.’ She said, ‘No, it was a present given me over and above my wages.’ I did not believe her, and told her to give it back to the owners (I blushed at this in her presence). Then she answered, ‘What about your own alms? What about your own good works? Everyone knows what return you have had for them.’