Sunday, October 18, 2020



Interestingly, Caesar’s Palace is located in a place called Paradise, Las Vegas in Nevada, USA. Its almost four thousand guest rooms and more than three hundred thousand square feet of convention space, not to mention its gaming facilities, will probably shame or dwarf the tax coin that Jesus asked the Herodians to show Him in today’s Gospel passage. The denarius, worth a little more than three dollars in today’s money, equivalent to a day’s pay for a laborer then, will not cut a dent in the oodles of cash that changes hands in Caesar’s Palace. Relative to the overflowing money at the Palace, the denarius might as well be just a penny.

But a penny, no matter how lowly and seemingly worthless, was deemed valuable for Jesus’ teaching moment. The trap that the Herodians set up became an opportunity for Jesus to lead His hearers to move from the lowly penny to the glorious palace of God’s Kingdom, His reign, His sway over a world that was focused on earthly matters.

Simply put, the Lord says this: nothing’s wrong about giving Caesar what is due to him, but there is something more to life than just money. There, too, He says, is the spiritual dimension of life. And godly matters are more important than earthly concerns. It is all about priority. It is all about putting God first.

In our social-media-saturated times, this is hard to do. We are wired 24/7, always connected but often not meaningfully related. We may have thousands of “friends” but not on intimate footing with anyone. Those we are closest to, like parents or children, are often not part of our social network. And since God does not “update” His status in the manner we are used to, His Kingdom, His values, His Word all play second fiddle in the music of our everyday life.

We all need material goods. May we learn never to be satisfied with pennies for Caesar, but instead work for God’s palace, God’s Kingdom, and God’s reign. Help us make You our Number One. Here, now, and forever. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

----------- REFLECTION QUESTION ----------

What gives you satisfaction and true joy in life?

Dearest God, only You can bring me true joy and everlasting peace. Help me make You Number One in my life. Amen.

Today, I pray for: __________________________

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