THE TRAP OF EMPTY PRAISES
Meditation for Tuesday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time, Year B
(Tobit 2:9-14; Mk 12: 13-17)
Empty praises, propaganda and sweet talk are traps to the proud hearted. The greedy, deceitful and dishonest easily cornered by them. The Pharisees and some Herodians tried to lure Jesus to their trap with empty praises, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? With their praises, they presented themselves to Him as friends while hiding their malice. That is why it is dangerous to work to please people or seek for human approval or recognition.
Jesus saw through their malice and exposed their hypocrisy. This is so because, being the Son of God, He focused perfectly on the will of the Father and His mission. While the Pharisees, Herodians and those who think like them are busy parading the image of the worldly power to deceive and trap people, Jesus in Himself is the IMAGE OF THE UNSEEN GOD! (Col 1:15). That is why before Jesus, there is no COMPETITION between CAESAR and GOD. What is rendered to the worldly power must not take away or threaten what belongs God as the Lord of all and source of every authority. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The sweet wisdom of Jesus is available to guide us as we pass through the web of empty praises in our daily lives. Therefore, let us remain focused on Jesus Christ, and find in Him the reason for our actions so that He shall give us the grace to escape the trap of sweet-talk, empty praises and propaganda. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tuesday, June 1st, 2021.