Posted: 03 Jun 2013 06:30 AM PDT
Today’s Gospel Text: And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Hero’di-ans, to entrap him in his talk. 14 And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15 Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it.” 16 And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 17 Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:13-17
Reflection: The wickedness of men is not in asking a question or clarification but the plans that they make to entrap their enemy.
Many a times, who is their enemy? Not the ones who have harmed them or done anything evil to them but the ones who love them and are concerned about their welfare, not only for this life but for all eternity.
Thus we have in the history the death of the many martyrs for Christ Jesus, whose only aim in life was to reach out to the people with the Gospel of love and life: a gospel that would transform them and lead them to the eternal doors of life.
Why then did the once in authority have to send some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to entrap Jesus?
Their question seemed so simple and straight and yet much loaded but hidden behind was the motive of entrapment.
Their flattery, or as interpersonal skill experts would recommend, contained an abundant dose of positive stroke so that the lethal weapon of entrapment may be swallowed without any suspicion.
What is evident from their flattery is that they had a clear idea of the truth of Jesus; an apt description of Jesus:
“We know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God.” (vs. 14)
From this description we come to know the prime criteria to be a great servant of God; Not pleasers of men or their positions, not being false and uttering falsity all the time and truly teaching the way of God.
St. Paul, one of the greatest followers of Jesus has the same to say about himself and thus we know the reason for his greatness:
“Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.” Gal 1:10
And likewise are his prayers for the neo-Christians: “to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Col 1:10
Prayer: May my life and meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. (cfr.Ps 104:34)
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