Yesterday’s Gospel has one of the most familiar refrains in all of scripture — “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (The whole Gospel can be found here.)
I thought you might be interested in my homily from yesterday’s Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Here is an excerpt:
Jesus tackles a most neuralgic issue for a person of faith: if we believe God is the supreme governor of the universe, the definitive lawgiver — as we indeed do; — and, if we believe that, to borrow the words of St. Paul, “we have here no lasting city,” but, rather, “have our true citizenship in heaven”; if we have given our allegiance to the One who told Pontius Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world”; — well, then, how does the person of faith approach what we might call our worldly, our temporal, our political, our civic duties?
Thorny moral question indeed. Jesus tells us, “Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but to God what belongs to God”; and for 2000 years we, His followers, have been struggling to keep that delicate balance.
Jesus and His Church, of course, have always encouraged us to be “in the world but not of it,” so, political responsibility, faithful citizenship, is a duty, a virtue . . .