Friday 27 February 2015

Tuesday of Week 9 Year 1

In some ways, we really need to hand it to the scribes, Pharisees and chief priests, because their immense jealousy and hatred towards Jesus simply shows how we humans can sometimes degrade ourselves into committing all sorts of despicable and foolish acts. Pride and ego can colour our vision, and blind us from what is true, what is proper and just, what is truly holy and what is fair; just because we want to win at all costs, and we want to save face. At the end of the day, does it really matter? Actually, no. But some do not see it this way and stubbornly and vehemently insist in keeping to their ways and protecting their interests. But this is where some fail to realise that everything that we do, and everything that we have, be it wealth, fame, titles, recognition or whatever, is merely temporary and cannot be brought with us when we die.

In today's Gospel, we see a classic example of how silly the scribes, Pharisees and the chief priests were behaving. Already they had tensions and serious disagreements with the Herodians, but when it comes to a common so called enemy (Jesus, in this case), they are willing to forgo their principles just to find a solution to get rid of Jesus. Their hypocrisy showed quite clearly when they asked the question: "Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?" These people asked not because they wanted to know, but because their intention (or in Bahasa Malaysia, "niat") was merely to trap Jesus. Jesus answer: 'Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar - and to God what belongs to God.' took them completely by surprise. But if we look deeper into Jesus' reply, we can discover that Jesus was actually making fun of these folks. Does anything really belong to Caesar? No! Ultimately, everything actually belongs to God, whether we are willing to admit it or not. So the question these folks had asked was actually a non-question, but their jealousy and hatred towards Jesus blinded them to what is evidently truth.

When we look at our lives, have we become more like the scribes, Pharisees and the chief priests or even the Herodians, in the way we conduct ourselves and the way we treat others? Have we forgotten who we are? Let us be mindful and check ourselves from falling into the abyss of hypocrisy, lest we lose ourselves and lost sight of our eternal goal.

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