Sunday, October 18th 2020 By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
On the 29
Sunday in Ordinary Time, the readings encourage us to always be mindful of who we are and Whose we are in every aspect of our lives.
Jesus reminds us of this truth in our Gospel passage today as He cleverly puts the Pharisees in their place during their attempt to verbally entrap Him. They ask Him whether it is lawful to pay the tax to Caesar. But the Pharisees were thinking small. Christ, on the other hand, thinks big.
We are all familiar with how the story progressed. Christ asked to see the coin that paid the tax and had the Pharisees state whose image is on it. They of course reply, “Caesar.” In response, Christ instructed them to “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
With that, He reminds us that while civil authorities should be obeyed, we answer to an infinitely higher Authority: God, Who is Lord of everything and everyone. All things and all people were created by God. In Baptism we have been claimed for Christ. Our lives are a gift from God and we have the privilege and responsibility to use every aspect of our lives in grateful response to Him.
There is a discussion brewing as Election Day approaches as to how much influence should our Catholic faith play in our choice for political office. As our local Bishop instructed local clergy, we do not publicly support a specific candidate or party. But for all of us, our Catholic values and moral compass should dictate how we vote. A paramount issue that must be included is the dignity and value of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.
Let us joyfully give thanks to this wonderful God by the way we live our daily lives as Catholic Christians. We belong to Him alone and not to another!