Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Homily...

"In this Sunday’s gospel passage, we see that Jesus is caught in a real predicament. The dilemma is compounded by the fact that two bitterly opposing sects, the Pharisees and the Herodians, have joined forces to attack Jesus.

Had Jesus said that paying the tax was unlawful, the Pharisees and the Herodians would promptly have reported the matter to the Roman officials and his arrest would have quickly followed. Had he answered that it was lawful to pay the tax, he would have damaged his reputation before the Jewish people who resented paying tax to an invading government.

“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Matthew 22: 21). With this distinctive answer Jesus establishes a teaching which goes beyond the needs and circumstances of his own times and serves as a guiding principle for all generations.

All of the baptized enjoy a dual citizenship. We are citizens of the country of our birth or political allegiance, and we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Ideally, these two citizenships should not clash, but sometimes they do. Jesus calls us to be good citizens of both kingdoms, but many times conflicts do arise which cause the citizens of the heavenly kingdom to take a stand in defense of the truth... (Continued here at Fr. James's blog).

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