Semi-Double Observance of the Twenty-Second Sunday After Pentecost
Missa "Si iniquitátes"
Let us remember today that we must render to Caesar
the things that are Caesar's,
i.e., observe the law of Justice, and render to God
the things that are God's,
i.e., the soul made in the image of its Creator must render to Him the tribute of adoration and obedience.
On this Sunday, one of the last of the ecclesiastical year, the Church is full of thought "of the day of Christ" (Epistle) or of the approaching end of the world. "If the Lord considers our iniquities, who will stand before Him ?" (Introit). Wherefore the liturgy speaks to us of divine mercy (Introit, Secret). But, to obtain it we must be full of mercy ourselves. "It is good and pleasant indeed for brothers to be united" (Gradual). In the hour of danger, let us use the prayers of the Church which have an eminently social and fraternal character, and which will by heard by God, the author of all charity (Collect) as King Assuerus heard the prayers of Queen Esther (Offertory).
Remembering in these days that the love of God and of our neighbor gives to the mind a greater understanding of divine things, "let then our charity increase more and more in light and in intelligence" that we may resist the more terrible assaults of the enemy.
The Gospel recalls to us a scene which took place on one of the last days of Jesus' life when He confounded, by a reply full of wisdom from above, His enemies who more than ever were compassing His ruin. The Jews, subject to the Romans, had to pay tribute to Caesar, an obligation all the more odious to them that it went counter to the spirit of universal domination promised to Israel as they imagined. What would the Master reply to the question of the Pharisees? He would excite the Jewish people against Him if He told them to pay tribute or the Roman authorities and the Herodians, if He told them not to do so. The enemies of Jesus already thought they had sufficient cause to have Him arrested.
The Savior ingeniously avoids the trap. "Whose image and superscription is this?" "Caesar's," they reply. The law required that to pay the tribute they should first change the national coin into coin bearing the effigy of the Roman Emperor. Jesus convicts them of having themselves answered the question by this very change. If you have procured coins with the effigy of Caesar, you must have had the intention of paying the tribute. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." And the Master completes His lesson by saying "and render to God, the things that are God's" for the human soul, made to the image of its Creator, owes Him the tribute of its adoration and obedience.
We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
Go to the ORDINARY OF THE HOLY MASS THE MASS OF THE CATECHUMENS
INTROIT: Psalm 129: 3-4