Proper 24 (29) – Year A

October 18, 2026

Gospel Lectionary Text

Matthew 22:15-22

22:15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said.

22:16 So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality.

22:17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?"

22:18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites?

22:19 Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius.

22:20 Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?"

22:21 They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."

22:22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.


Word from Below Reflections

A Malicious Question, A Healing Answer

I’ve heard it said that the Bible is “God’s Answer Book.” Some people must find that to be true, but it’s hard to see how. Among the Bibles I own, a few have sections in the back that serve as FAQs (frequently asked questions) plus answers. That’s handy, but they’re modern add-ons.

Read More »

The Emperor’s Coin

My sister does this funny thing before she asks you for a favor. She says, “I’m going to ask you something, but I want you to know that it’s a trap.” I appreciate that. It’s a good heads-up. The people in this week’s scripture didn’t give Jesus that courtesy. Instead, they buttered him up with…

Read More »

Images is Everything

In this week’s text the religious leaders are trying to trap Jesus with a question about whether Jews should pay taxes to Caesar. But this isn’t really a question about taxes. It’s more sinister.

Read More »

Un-Beautiful Questions

At Street Psalms we’ve grown to love “beautiful questions.” They provide doorways to freedom and life. Unfortunately un-beautiful questions abound as well. These questions prove to be traps – luring us to small, confining spaces with doors that snap shut. How very crucial to discern the difference!

Read More »

Understanding the Bible anew through the Mimetic Theory of René Girard.

Weekly Homily by James Alison