My Dear Friends,
In today’s selection from the Gospel of St. Matthew (22: 15-21), some Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus in his speech. After flattering Jesus by saying he was a “truthful man” and “not concerned with anyone’s opinion,” they asked him, “Tell us, then, what is your opinion. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Jesus, knowing the malice the Pharisees had in their hearts, cleverly replied, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” When they handed Jesus a coin that had Caesar’s image on it, Jesus said, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
Through the centuries, many – if not most – Christians have argued that this Scripture passage refers to the necessity of paying taxes to one’s government so the government can achieve its duties. But many think other things belong to Caesar such as human life and civil rights. Others argue that human life and civil rights do not belong to Caesar, for these come from God, not government.
Today is World Mission Sunday, a day the Catholic Church sets aside to remember those who serve on the front lines of mission territories of the Church. Please be generous in your donations today for the work of our foreign missionaries! Thanks!
Fr. Renán has gone back to Honduras, and he gives many thanks to all who made his stay so wonderful!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
– Father Bob