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The topic of “taxes” interests everyone. Even the politicians earn points at the time of election over their tax plans if they win. Taxes have always been a sensitive topic. This weekend we read about the Pharisees and how they manipulated a situation to trap Jesus. They asked Him a question about paying taxes to Caesar. Either a ’Yes’ or a ‘No’ answer would land Jesus in trouble. ‘Yes’ would mean that He would be called a traitor, a non-patriot of the Hebrew Nation and thus make Him unpopular among his people, who had found Roman taxes burdensome. There was also a group namely ‘zealots’ who revolted against the Roman rule and one of them was his Apostle.
Secondly, if Jesus answered ’No’ they would accuse Him of sedition before the procurator and report Him an instigator who was advising the populace against paying taxes. But Jesus outsmarts the Pharisees and gives a befitting answer, though it may appear to be a diplomatic one: “Give to God the things that are God’s and to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.
The image of Caesar on the coin is an indication that the money is of Caesar. But the point that Jesus wants to make is also that each one of us is God’s because we bear his stamp on our souls. We are created in the image of God. We ultimately belong to God.
Another thought for our reflection would be: Can God and Caesar co-exist? What if you are created to be a container for God’s presence right here in the midst of the (Caesar) secular world? Who do you belong to Caesar or God? There is a beautiful phrase: “Be in the world but not of the world.”
There is another way of looking at this passage that contains a message for us about the connection between being heavenly and earthly (God/Caesar). God has put us into this world to sanctify it, to befriend the people of Caesar and help them to belong to God, to work in the world of sin with God in spite of our own sins That is why the Lord says “establish my kingdom.”
Let us pray for each other that we may work to promote the Kingdom of God amidst us. God bless you.
- Fr. Bernard D’Sa
is for boxes of granola bars and/or other snacks appropriate for school-age children. These may be put in the Buckland Box in the front of the church and will be distributed to local schools for their use. Many students do not bring snacks to school for their mid-morning Nutrition Break and, with your help, Sacred Heart’s Conference of SVDP is trying to augment what schools and individual teachers are already providing. Thanks for your continued support and prayer.
Anyone volunteering at Sacred Heart or St. Bernard church who will be working with the elderly (ie: Homebound ministry), or with children, must complete an online course required by the Diocese of Santa Rosa, and/or must be fingerprinted. Please contact me as I have the forms that need to go with you to get fingerprinted, and can help answer questions regarding the course online. Thank you for helping out in our parishes! Melanie Broswick #442-6466 ext #1103.
The hours for the Sacred Heart Church office have been changed to Monday-Wednesday, 9:00am-4:00pm with a lunch break from 12-1pm.