FIRST READNG
“We wait for new heavens and a new earth.”
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Peter (2 Peter3:12- 15a.17-18)

Beloved: Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 90:2.3-4.10.14 and 16 (R. 1)
R/. O Lord, you have been our refuge, from generation to generation.

Before the mountains were born,
or the earth or the world were brought forth,
you are God, from age to age. R.

You turn man back to dust,
and say, “Return, O children of men.”
To your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday, come and gone,
or like a watch in the night. R.

R/. O Lord, you have been our refuge, from generation to generation.

Seventy years is the span of our days,
or eighty if we are strong.
And most of these are toil and pain.
They pass swiftly and we are gone. R.

At dawn, fill us with your merciful love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.
Let your deed be seen by your servants,
and your glorious power by their children. 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
We are engraved with God’s own image and likeness. With this unique seal of God’s love and ultimate care, he has claimed us for himself with his own blood. We owe our whole self to God and nothing of ours belong to the world (Caesar). Jesus redeems us by dying on the cross for our sins (1 Cor 6:19-20). However, often we connive and compromise with the world by committing sin. When we succumb to the worldly allurements, we reduce the image and likeness of God to something merely human and take the side of Caesar who is all pretentious and blasphemous. When we become aware of God’s image in us, we become his dwelling places and he will transform us into his children.

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