Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”

“Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?” ― Sandra Day O'Connor: (Retired Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court)

Gospel Text: (MK 12:13-17)
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.

Today's Gospel is something more than knowing how to successfully get out of a conflict; it is something utterly relevant to all aspects of our life:

What am I giving God?

Is it really what I prize the most in my life?

Where do I place my heart?

Because... «Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also» (Lk 12:34).

A choice is always before us, a time for conversion, a time to “replace” our life again in the dynamics of God. Our prayer, and specially the prayer made by God's Word, will gradually help us to discover what God expects of us. He who opts for God becomes God's dwelling place, for «if a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him» (Jn 14:23). Prayer is the true school where, as Tertulian says, «Christ teaches us the Father's purpose, which He is carrying out in the world and what a man's ethical behavior should be so that it is in agreement with this very purpose».

The two sides of a coin noted in today’s gospel passage can remind us that our human nature is flawed but redeemed. Which side of the coin of our personhood will we offer to Jesus and to our neighbor? That is the question and the answer will be proclaimed by how we live in the public square.


  1. Joe,
    Just wanted you to know that I read you almost every day and am deeply appreciative. :-)