29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
There is no other God besides me ... apart from me, all is nothing
Almighty ever-living God, Grant that we may always conform our will to yours and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart.
The readings this week all focus on the one God who rules the whole world.
In the First Reading, the Jews, who believed in one God, are shown how he is able to use unexpected people to do his work – even the pagan king Cyrus.
The Psalm is a call to worship God as the true King, ruler of Israel and of all the world: ‘The Gods of the heathens are naught’.
St Paul, in the Second Reading, also focuses on the one God, the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. It is through God’s love that the people of Thessalonica have received the Good News. They worked and persevered in hope, sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, in the Gospel, we find the Pharisees (traditional nationalist Jews) and their unlikely allies, the Herodians (who accepted Roman rule), attempting to trap Jesus. Which one – God or the Roman Emperor, Caesar – was the greater? To whom should they pay their taxes? Jesus’s answer was likely to upset one party or the other; however, he knows how to defuse this explosive situation. ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God’.
Perhaps this week, we might reflect on the rulers of our world, the good and the bad, and pray for them – remembering that God can work through them as he worked through Cyrus and Caesar.
I am the Lord, unrivalled; there is no other God beside me … Apart from me, all is nothing. First Reading
We constantly remember before God how you have shown your faith in action, worked for love, and persevered through hope. Second Reading
Lord, may the gifts we offer … give us freedom to serve you with our lives. Prayer over the Gifts
Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God. Gospel
This week’s texts if you’d like to reflect further:
Isaiah 45: 1, 4–6; Psalm 95 (96); 1 Thessalonians 1: 1–5; Matthew 22: 15–21