Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 163

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Nur jedem das Seine” (To each his own!):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 22:15-22:

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

The text of today’s piece is available here, and is highly appropriate to today’s Gospel reading. It contains these words:

To each his own!
If government must have
toll, taxes and tribute,
the incurred debt
cannot be avoided!
Yet the heart still belongs only to the Highest.

. . .

Let my heart be the coin
that I remit to You, my Jesus!
If it is not altogether pure,
ah, then come and renew,
Lord, its beautiful gleam!
Come, work, smelt and emboss,
so that Your likeness in me
might shine forth completely renewed!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

8 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 163”

  1. Taxes are to Caesar, as death is to God.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  2. Progressives always say how Jesus would have voted, or believed politically. It was pretty clear from this Gospel, as well as others, he spoke to individuals and how they should live. He didn’t speak to governments or about proper governance.

    The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.

    Ditto for governments.

    Remember that, Democrats.

    Hoi Polloi (92d467)

  3. Let’s keep the comment sections to these posts nonpartisan, please.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  4. Here’s something nonpartisan:
    IMO one of the best albums ever made is Venetian Vespers, with Paul McCreesh leading the Gabrieli Consort. The “Dixit Dominus” by Rigatti is exhilarating (but best be near the volume control in the parts leading up to it), and there are some Monteverdi gems including a brilliant “Laetatus sum” (though the women’s pitch sounds not quite spot-on to me).

    If I could have only 5 albums (and no e-media), it would definitely be in the list.

    Radegunda (786b96)

  5. Here’s the Laetatus sum. The literalism in the “ascenderunt” line is delightful.

    Radegunda (786b96)

  6. Here’s a live performance of the same Laetatus sum.

    Radegunda (786b96)

  7. Our esteemed host asked us:

    Let’s keep the comment sections to these posts nonpartisan, please.

    Alas! If only our priests were keeping their homilies apolitical.

    Well, my priest certainly did not. He used today’s Gospel reading to push for ‘fair taxes,’ his meaning being to tax corporations and the wealthy more.

    Of course, corporations pay no taxes; they simply collect taxes from the end users of their products.

    My view of what constitutes fair taxes is that everyone pays the same in taxes. No, not the same percentage, but the same dollar amount, as the Framers envisioned when the Constitution was written. To me, the 16th Amendment was the greatest folly we ever inflicted on ourselves.

    I will be glad the first Sunday after election day, when I can have some hope that our priest will return to apolitical homilies.

    The Dana in Kentucky (9f85a3)

  8. Well, Matthew was a tax collector. 😉

    But maybe Christ was not all that interested in how you lived in Caesar’s kingdom but how you could get into His, and He just wanted these priests and lawyers off His back right at that moment because they were not yet ready to understand even if He explained it to them?

    nk (1d9030)

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