Good News A47
Pay to Caesar
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."
Jesus said to the Pharisees: Pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God the things that are God’s. How do we decide what is Caesar’s and what is God’s today? In today’s time, Jesus would be saying to pay your Mecklenburg County Tax, your sales tax, your North Carolina Income Tax, and your United States Federal Income Tax. These are taxes that the heads of the government in which you and other citizens have agreed to pay. These would be the taxes of Caesar in today’s times. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to tell them to pay either one or the other. But, Jesus did not do that. He said, “Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, and to God the things that are God’s. Some people may say they have given so much money for taxes to Caesar, that they don’t have anything for God.
What can you give to God? If you have an allowance, you can give part of this money to the Church. If you have no money, then you can share what you have with God’s people. You can share your knowledge by explaining how to do things to your younger brothers or sisters. You can share by giving toys that you have not played with in a year to Goodwill or to Catholic Social Services so other children might have toys to play with. You can share clothing that you have outgrown with others. You can do the chores around the house without complaining. You can dust the furniture. You can take the dishes out of the dishwasher and put them away. You can help your parents rake the leaves that have fallen. You can pray when you get angry or sad. You can pray for your family, your church, your country, and your world to live peacefully together. Pray that God will show you clearly what he wants you to do.
If you get too interested in worldly things, and you do not give your love and honor to God, he will be very unhappy. God wants your soul with him in heaven when your earthly duties are done. He wants you to give him actions that will save your soul. He wants you to keep on the path to Heaven. God expects you to obey his commandments. If God is pleased with you, you will enjoy eternal happiness with him in heaven.
Now pray the “Our Father” and ask God to keep you on his path.
“Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”
Copyright © 2002, 2004 Joan Y. Edwards