FIRST READING
I went to physicians, but they did not help me.
A reading from the Book of Tobit (Tobit 2:9-14)

On [Pentecost] night I, Tobit, returned from burying the dead, I went into my courtyard and slept by the wall of the courtyard, and my face was uncovered because of the heat. I did not know that there were sparrows on the wall and their fresh droppings fell into my open eyes and white films formed on my eyes. I went to physicians to be healed, but the more they treated me with ointments, the more my vision was obscured by the white films, until I became completely blind. For four years I remained unable to see. All my kindred were sorry for me, and Ahikar took care of me for two years until he went to Elymais. Then my wife Anna earned money at women’s work. She used to send the product to the owners, and they paid her wages. One day, the seventh of Dystrus, when she cut off a piece she had woven and sent it to the owners, they paid her full wages and they also gave her a kid. When she returned to me it began to bleat.  So I called her and said to her, “Where did you get the kid? It is not stolen, is it? Return it to the owners; for it is not right to eat what is stolen.” And she said, “It was given to me as a gift in addition to my wages.” But I did not believe her, and told her to return it to the owners; and I blushed for her. Then she replied to me, “Where are your charities and your righteous deeds? You seem to know everything!”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Psalm 112:1b-2.7-8.9 (R. see 7b)
R/. With a firm heart, the just man trusts in the Lord.
Or:   Alleluia.

Blessed the man who fears the Lord,
who takes great delight in his commandments.
His descendants shall be powerful on earth;
the generation of the upright will be blest. R.

He has no fear of evil news;
with a firm heart, he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear;
he will see the downfall of his foes. R.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm forever.
His might shall be exalted in glory. R.

ALLELUIA Ephesians 1:17-18
Alleluia. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts that we might know what is the hope to which he has called us. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar s’, and to God the things that are God’s.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 12: 13-17)

At that time: They sent to Jesus some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to entrap him in his talk. 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? 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.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar’s.” 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.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

To give Caesar what belongs to Caesar does not advise us to separate our political and civic life from our faith.  Our civic responsibilities and religious obligations are not intrinsically opposed to each other.  Our Christian faith must permeate everything we do, including our lives and duties as citizens.  Our faith requires that we be responsible citizens.  The Lord is reminding us that we do have civil obligations. And we must perform them with the same care that we give to our religious duties.  How we serve the state is a way of witnessing to the kingdom.

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