Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Tuesday, 6th June, 2023
Next Sunday's Readings
Tuesday of Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1
Optional memorials of Ss Norbert and Jarlath, bishops
First Reading Tobit 2:9-14
Tobit did not complain against God at being struck blind.
I, Tobit, took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered. I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. White spots then formed, which I was obliged to have treated by the doctors. But the more ointments they tried me with, the more the spots blinded me, and in the end I became blind altogether. I remained without sight four years; all my brothers were distressed; and Ahikar provided for my upkeep for two years, till he left for Elymais.
My wife Anna then undertook woman’s work; she would spin wool and take cloth to weave; she used to deliver whatever had been ordered from her and then receive payment. Now on March the seventh she finished a piece of work and delivered it to her customers. They paid her all that was due, and into the bargain presented her with a kid for a meal. When the kid came into my house, it began to bleat. I called to my wife and said, ‘Where does this creature come from? Suppose it has been stolen! Quick, let the owners have it back; we have no right to eat stolen goods.‘ She said, ‘No, it was a present given me over and above my wages.’ I did not believe her, and told her to give it back to the owners (I blushed at this in her presence). Then she answered, ‘What about your own alms? What about your own good works? Everyone knows what return you have had for them.’
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God
Responsorial Psalm Ps 111
Response With a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
1. Happy the man who fears the Lord, who takes delight in his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; the children of the upright are blessed. Response
2. 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. Response
3. Open-handed, he gives to the poor; his justice stands firm forever.
His head will be raised in glory. Response
Gospel Acclamation Heb 4: 12
The word of God is something alive and active: it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts.
Or Eph 1: 17. 18
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind,
so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.
The Lord be with you And with your spirit.
A reading from the Gospel according to Mark 12:13-17 Glory to you, O Lord
Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.
The Chief priests and the scribes and the elders sent to Jesus some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’
Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them,
‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’ They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?‘ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him.
Jesus said to them,
‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.‘
This reply took them completely by surprise.
The gospel of the Lord Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Tuesday, Ninth Week in Ordinary Time Mark 12:13-17
In Jesus’ day, Roman coins, like the denarius mentioned in the gospel reading, bore an image of the Roman Emperor of the day, and an inscription declaring him to be divine and high priest. However, Jesus’ response to those who try to trap him with their question about paying taxes to Caesar shows that the Roman Emperor is not to be considered god. ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God’. There is a clear distinction to be made between Caesar and God. God is God and Caesar is not God, in direct opposition to the image and title on Roman coins. What is due to God is far greater than what is due to Caesar. God is absolute and Caesar is relative.
Jesus does not prohibit paying taxes to Caesar but he affirms that what is due to the true God is much greater. The gospel reminds us that our ultimate loyalty is to God. It is God who has first claim on our lives, not any human authority, be it political or religious. Because we believe that Jesus is the full revelation of God in human form, to say that God has first claim on our lives is to say that Jesus, our risen Lord, has first claim on our lives. We have to assess all human claims on our lives in the light of that primary claim of the Lord. Allowing Jesus to be Lord of our lives will sometimes require is to resist the demands that human authorities make of us, especially when they are at odds with what the Lord is asking of us.
The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2022-2023: Your word is a lamp for my feet and light for my path by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/