Daily Gospel – Tuesday, June 4, 2024 – Mark 12,13-17 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (2Peter 3,12-15a.17-18)

Reading of the Second Letter of Saint Peter.

Dear friends, Do you eagerly await the coming of the Day of God, when the burning heavens will melt, and the elements, consumed by fire, will merge? What we hope for, according to his promise, are new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell. Dear friends, living in this hope, strive so that he finds you in a life that is pure and spotless and in peace. Consider also the longsuffering of our Lord as salvation. You therefore, beloved ones, knowing this in advance, take care, lest, led by the deceit of these wicked men, you lose your own firmness. Rather, seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, from now until the day of eternity. Amen.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Mark 12,13-17)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, the authorities sent some Pharisees and some supporters of Herod, to catch Jesus in some word. When they arrived, they said to Jesus: “Master, we know that you are true, and that you give preference to no one. Indeed, you do not look at the appearance of man, but you truly teach the way of God. Tell us: Is it lawful or not to pay the tax to Caesar? Should we pay it or not?” Jesus saw their hypocrisy and replied, “Why do you tempt me? Bring me a coin so I can see it.” They took the coin, and Jesus asked, “Whose figure and inscription are on this coin?” They replied, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were in awe of Jesus.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, our readings invite us to reflect on the true meaning of our Christian life, our heavenly citizenship and our role as earthly citizens. Let us delve deeply into passages of Scripture, allowing divine wisdom to guide and inspire us to live according to the values of the Kingdom of God as we navigate the complexities of the world in which we live.

Today’s First Reading is taken from the second letter of Saint Peter (2Peter 3,12-15a.17-18), where he exhorts us to live in holiness and piety as we await the coming of the Day of God. Peter reminds us that the day of the Lord will come like a thief, when the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will be dissolved by fire. This is an urgent call for us to take our faith seriously and live in a way that pleases God, in constant preparation for his return.

Saint Peter warns us not to be drawn into the error of the wicked and thus lose our firmness. Instead, we must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This message is particularly relevant today, when we are often tempted to follow the ways of the world, forgetting the eternal values that God calls us to embrace.

To illustrate this truth, imagine a tree planted on the banks of a river. Its roots are deeply embedded in the fertile earth and it is constantly nourished by water. Even when strong winds blow, the tree remains firm because it is well rooted. We, as Christians, should be like this tree, deeply rooted in faith and constantly nourished by God’s grace. Only then can we weather the storms of life and remain steadfast on our spiritual journey.

In today’s Gospel (Mark 12:13-17), we see an intriguing situation where the Pharisees and Herodians try to trap Jesus with a trick question about paying taxes to Caesar. They ask: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or not?” Jesus, realizing their hypocrisy, asks them to bring him a denarius and asks: “Whose image and inscription is this?” They answer: “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus says to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

This response from Jesus is masterful in its wisdom and depth. He not only avoids the trap, but also offers a powerful teaching about our dual citizenship – as citizens of the world and of the Kingdom of God. Jesus calls us to fulfill our civic duties and respect earthly authorities, but always maintain our primary loyalty to God. In other words, we must live our earthly lives with integrity and righteousness while keeping our hearts and souls dedicated to the service of God.

Let’s consider a metaphor here: let’s think of a ceramic jar with two faces – one side facing the world and the other facing the sky. The world-facing side represents our civil and social responsibilities – paying taxes, complying with laws, and participating in community life. The side facing heaven represents our spiritual devotion – prayer, worship, and practice of Christ’s teachings. As Christians, we are called to maintain a healthy balance between these two dimensions of our lives.

This balance, however, is not always easy to achieve. We are often tempted to lean too much one way or the other. We can get lost in our earthly concerns, forgetting about our spiritual life. Or we may become so focused on spirituality that we neglect our earthly responsibilities. The key is to follow the example of Jesus, who shows us that we can and should honor our earthly obligations without losing sight of our loyalty to God.

Returning to Saint Peter’s message, we are called to live in holiness and piety, growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. This means that while we fulfill our earthly duties, we must also continually strive to draw closer to God. Prayer, reading the Scriptures, the sacraments, and the practice of Christian virtues are fundamental to this spiritual growth.

Let’s now reflect on some practical ways to apply these lessons in our daily lives. First, let’s examine our priorities. Are we dedicating enough time to our spiritual life? Are we making time for prayer, meditation on Scripture, and the sacraments? Or are we so busy with our earthly responsibilities that our spiritual lives are taking a backseat?

Second, let us consider our integrity and fairness in our civil responsibilities. Are we carrying out our duties honestly and fairly? Are we paying our taxes correctly, complying with the laws and contributing positively to our community? Let us remember that our faith must be reflected in all areas of our lives, including our civil responsibilities.

Finally, let us think about how we can grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. This may mean participating more actively in the life of the church, seeking spiritual guidance, or engaging in activities that strengthen our faith. It can also mean making a conscious effort to live according to Christ’s teachings, showing love, compassion, and justice in all of our interactions.

Dear brothers and sisters, today’s readings challenge us to live in an integrated way, harmonizing our earthly responsibilities with our spiritual vocation. We are called to be exemplary citizens of the world while maintaining our supreme loyalty to God. May we continually grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and may our lives be a living testimony of his presence in us.

Let us now have a moment of silence to reflect on these words. Let us close our eyes and ask God for the wisdom and strength to live in accordance with his teachings, balancing our earthly responsibilities with our spiritual devotion.

Lord, we thank You for today’s lessons. Help us to live righteously and righteously, fulfilling our earthly responsibilities while keeping our hearts toward You. May we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and may our lives be a living testimony of His love and mercy. Amen.

My brothers and sisters, as we leave here today, let us carry with us the determination to live as true followers of Christ, balancing our earthly lives with our heavenly calling. May God’s grace accompany us and may we be instruments of His peace and love in the world. Remember, we are called to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s – living fully as citizens of the world and of God’s Kingdom. Amen.