“Tolerance that only accepts God as a private opinion, but denies Him the public knowledge (...) is not tolerance, but hypocrisy” - Pope Benedict XVI
Gospel text (Mt 22,15-21):The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion,
for you do not regard a person's status.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?"
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax."
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?"
They replied, "Caesar's."
At that he said to them,
"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
Many Catholics feel that Church should not get “mixed up in political life”, but mind only its salvific mission and faith. But this interpretation is totally false, because dealing with God’s matters does not mean to mind only the cult of the Church, but to be also concerned about men, who are God's children, and about man's justice. Pretending the Church does not move from the sacristy, while being deaf, blind and mute before the moral and human problems and abuses of our time, amounts to stealing from God what belongs to God.
In St. John's Gospel, Jesus tells Pilatus: «You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above» (Jn 19:10). Jesus does not want to appear as a political agitator. He simply wants to put things right. As baptized Catholics, so should we.