A reading according to the holy Gospel according to Matthew 22:15-21
The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, for you do not regard a person's status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" Knowing their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax." Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" They replied, "Caesar's." At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."
REFLECTION: "Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Jesus has angered the Pharisees. They are insulted by His words. Jesus reminds them that they have forsaken their flock and their people.
Now they are plotting to entrap Jesus in speech. They have now chosen to be enemies of Jesus. They were scheming to harm Him.
Who is our enemy? Our enemies (PAPA Handbook page 10) are those who seek to do harm and destroy us on purpose. Our enemies are (DWF)--the devil, the world and the flesh. They seek to destroy by (6T) -tempting, tricking, tripping, trapping, taking and torturing the souls of the priests and His people. (PAPA Handbook, page 11)
The enemy is sly, clever, selfish, hateful and evasive. See how complimentary the Pharisees are, yet, contriving to ask Jesus a question hoping that the answer can be used against Him. These toxic enemies are persistent. They are attacking Jesus who is building His kingdom.
But Jesus is also showing us how to deal with such toxic people. We have all encountered such people both at church and out of church. How do we deal with them?
Stay focused on God, pray and let Him take that toxic person. Avoid the gossip, the snide comments, the distractions, stay true to God and accomplish God's work. It does not matter what others think or say of us.
We should live to be remembered by God.
"Remember me with favor, my God." (Nehemiah 13:31)
God Bless You