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29th Sunday of Year A

The last verse of this Sunday’s gospel text (29th of Year A – Mt.22 :15-21) is so well-know to us that we sometimes use it ourselves… for our own purposes!
“Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

The meaning of the words is obvious and we do not question what the saying aims at as far as Caesar is concerned.
People will immediately think of such duties as: obeying the law, paying taxes, selecting just leaders by voting and… paying fines (if one is guilty of an offence involving such returns).
And what belongs to God? What are we expected to ‘render’ him?
Some will say: respect, adoration, obedience, prayer, thanksgiving, etc.
And much more…

All in all, it is plain, clear, simple, obvious!
But as I reflect on this gospel text I tell myself that, perhaps, yes perhaps… I should add something.
Not to the list of items to ‘give back’ but to the… beneficiaries!
Somehow, I feel that there are a number of people to whom I should return something for what they have done, and keep doing, for me.

My mind brings back to me the memory of:

– The good teachers who have provided me with sound knowledge.
– The skilled surgeon who operated on me and the medical staff who assisted him in bringing me back to health.
– The lawyer who wisely defended me when I had been wrongfully accused of a misdeed.
– The kind neighbour always ready to help me with this or that.
– The faithful friend always there when I need her assistance.
– The dynamic fellow coaching my children in their sport activities.
– The ever-smiling garage mechanic on whom I can safely rely.

This is my list… and you surely have yours…
I feel I should give back something to them for their kindness, their assistance, their good-humour, the wisdom they share with me, and their presence when I am in need.

Yes, I SHALL give back to Caesar, to God, and… to all those kind-hearted people who make life so much lighter and enjoyable!

Image: stjohspr.org



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