Tuesday 6 June 2023

About Today Readings

St Norbert; St Marcellin Champagnat

Tobit 2:9-14. The hearts of the just are secure, trusting in the Lord – Psalm 111(112):1-2, 7-9. Mark 12:13-17.

Our ultimate allegiance is to God

This verse in Mark contains the ultimate political one-liner. The Pharisees and Herodians’ confront Jesus with a curly question designed to trick him about whether they, a vassal state, should pay imperial taxes to Caesar, an invading power. If Jesus answers ‘don’t pay’, he’s a political rebel. If he answers ‘pay’, he’s a disloyal lackey of the Romans. You know the story. Jesus asks them to bring a coin. Confirming that it bears Caesar’s image, he says, ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’. Were these the only recorded words of Jesus, I suspect he would still be considered among the world’s great thinkers. In that line, Jesus separated church and state, demonstrating that while we must follow earthly laws, our ultimate allegiance is to God. Jesus’ critics raised complex questions about the interplay between religion and politics, and Jesus’ response provides a useful guiding principle: may we balance earthly obligations against spiritual responsibilities, remembering that our ultimate citizenship is in the Kingdom.

Email this Print This Page