Today’s Thoughts: In our Gospel today, Jesus finds himself once again challenged, harassed, or questioned by the religious leadership. The Pharisees and Herodians seem to be at least civil this time, yet they are still trying to entrap Jesus. Their tactic this time is to ask about paying taxes.
In recent years there has been a lot of talk about religious freedom, about the government infringing on the rights of churches, religions. Perhaps our Gospel story today can be cast in the light of religious freedom after all Rome was asking for tax money so that they could continue their conquering ways. Just think of all the barbaric acts that these taxes would be paying for. Just think of the Roman occupation that these taxes would be helping to fund. It would seem only right for Jesus to say that withholding the Roman tax would be the right thing to do.
However, Jesus simply says, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” In other words, culture and society are not always going to line up with our faith values yet we are still part of culture and society. We will need to give what they require but we will also need to live out our faith, our relationship with God. At times these two relationships are in tension even conflict and we have to make a choice. The choice is not always easy and often has consequences. The challenge is that we live in the world but we are friends of God.
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...