Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

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Lectionary: 145
Read: Matthew 22:15-21

Gospel Summary
The chief priests and Pharisees tried to trap Jesus into making a political error or renouncing God's authority. They asked whether or not it was lawful to pay taxes to the emperor. Pointing out that it was Caesar's head on the coin, Jesus told them to give to the emperor what was due the emperor, but to pay more attention to what belonged to God.

Reflection for Families
Sometimes we can get into debates with our children similar to the one Jesus had with the chief priests and Pharisees. Children often wear us down with their relentless arguing. We would do well as parents to imitate Jesus' simple and straightforward response.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Purchase a bag of foil-wrapped chocolate coins and give each member of the family at least three coins each. One at a time, have each person slide one of their coins to the center of the table and name one thing that is very important to them. (Keep in mind that each person will name the top three important things in their lives if you use three coins each.) Continue going around the table and repeat the process for as many coins as each person has. When all the coins are in the center of the table, talk together about how many of the coins represent loyalty to something other than God - perhaps material gifts, power, or recognition. Go around the table again and think of important things that are important in our lives that come from God. For each item, take out a coin.

Discussion Starters

  1. It was very clear to me that the only power we have comes from God when...
  2. I know that sometimes I put other priorities in front of God, but I definitely put God first when...
  3. I don't think Jesus is telling me not to pay taxes in this Gospel. Instead I think he's saying...