With Fr Paul Gooley on Annual Leave, Tony Worner, Leader of Formation for St Agnes’ Parish presents our Gospel reflections this week and today reads from the Gospel of Mark (12: 13-17) in which Jesus says, “Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”.

Tony says, none of us would like to think of ourselves as hypocrites. Rather, we desire to be consistent and faithful followers of Jesus. In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us to be on guard against subtle traces of hypocrisy in our lives – saying one thing and doing another. Jesus often calls out the hypocrisy of the religious leaders who were at times more concerned about the strict and demanding practice of the law than the practice of compassion, mercy and love.

In the Gospel they ask if they should pay taxes to Caesar or not. Jesus knows the true intention of their question and asks, “Why are you trying to trap me?” He then guides them to reflect on the profound and pressing need to give to God what belongs to God. Jesus knows our intentions too. We must pay our fair share to the government, our taxes, but make sure also that we give to God what belongs to God. Tony says, the question is, do we in fact know what it is that we need to give to God? In closing

Tony invites us to pray, ‘Lord, help me to know what belongs to you in my life and give it to you’.