Readings: October 22, 2017, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings from The Message Bible (© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson )

  • Isaiah 45: 1, 4-6

             The God Who Forms Light and Darkness

God’s Message to his anointed, to Cyrus, whom he took by the hand to give the task of taming the nations, of terrifying their kings— He gave him free rein, no restrictions: “I’ll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I’ll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances.

It’s because of my dear servant Jacob, Israel my chosen, that I’ve singled you out, called you by name, and given you this privileged work. And you don’t even know me! I am God, the only God there is. Besides me there are no real gods. I’m the one who armed you for this work, though you don’t even know me, so that everyone, from east to west, will know that I have no god-rivals.

I am God, the only God there is. I form light and create darkness, I make harmonies and create discords. I, God, do all these things.

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b

I, Paul, together here with Silas and Timothy, send greetings to the church at Thessalonica, Christians assembled by God the Father and by the Master, Jesus Christ. God’s amazing grace be with you! God’s robust peace!

     Convictions of Steel

Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.

You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.

  • Matthew 22:15-21

          Paying Taxes

That’s when the Pharisees plotted a way to trap him into saying something damaging. They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod’s followers mixed in, to ask, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don’t pander to your students. So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me? Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece.

“This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?”

They said, “Caesar.”

“Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”

 

 

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