Reflection of the Word of God. 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
First Reading (Is 45:1.4-6): A Pagan, Instrument of God's Plan. King Cyrus unknowingly serves God's plans by freeing the Jews from exile, because God is the Lord of history.
Second Reading (1 Thess 1:1-5b): Words of Appreciation. Saint Paul thanks God for the young Christian community of Thessalonica; it is an ideal community of faith, hope and love.
Gospel (Mt 22:15-21): Church and State. We belong to the two cities: human and God's and we must give each one what is due. The values of the gospel should be our guide.
The Gospel tells us how the Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus, with the question of whether or not it is lawful to pay tribute to Caesar, that is, the taxes that were paid to the Roman Empire. If Jesus had said, "It must be paid!" They could accuse him among the people of being a friend of the Romans. If He had said: "You must not pay!", They could also accuse him to the Roman authorities of being a subversive and rebel against the civil authority.
Yet Jesus goes straight and blunt with his answer: "Whose image and inscription on the coin is this?" They reply: "From Caesar!" By saying this, they were acknowledging the authority of the Caesar, its laws and obligations; They used their coins to buy or sell and even to pay the tribute and offerings of the temple, so they had to comply with what they had already accepted. But they must also "Give to God what belongs to God", that is, to practice justice, honesty, help the needy ... without seeking evil from anyone; fulfilling their obligations as citizens, but respecting and living their religious values.