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.