Faith Daily | 1 June 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p547
Almighty and everliving God,
increase in us your gift of faith,
so that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before us,
we may run the way of your commandents
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 12: 13-17
13 Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. 14And they came and said to him, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? 15Should we pay them, or should we not?’ But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.’ 16And they brought one. Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ 17Jesus said to them, ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they were utterly amazed at him.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Paul McLaughlin
This passage of Mark relates the first of a series of test questions designed to trick Jesus into condemning himself by his words. The Pharisees were experts in Jewish law and keen to prove Jesus at odds with that law and so were adversaries who would test his adherence to it. Closely allied to the Pharisees were the Herodians, a group of Jews who showed themselves hostile to Jesus.
Faced with their artful questioning on the matter of taxes Jesus would have been guarded in his reply.
The hypocrisy of the visitors is shown in their flattering preface to the challenge – you are honest, unafraid of others and uncaring what a person’s rank may be. Setting their trap with two choices of answer, they are astounded that Jesus replies with a third alternative.
In our world today we should be careful to take a wider view of issues, not just choosing one side over the other but asking what would be God’s wish for that situation. So often we are confronted by false polarity – the idea that we must choose one of two views of something when other possibilities exist.
FINAL PRAYER: Michael Leunig
In order to be truthful
We must do more than speak the truth.
We must also hear truth.
We must also receive truth.
We must also act upon truth.
We must also search for truth.
The difficult truth.
Within us and around us.
We must devote ourselves to truth.
Otherwise we are dishonest
And our lives are mistaken.
God grant us the strength and the courage
To be truthful.