Reflections - October 22, 2017

“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”. 
Mt. 22:21.
This Sunday’s Gospel presents us with the religious and political authorities’ rejection to the plan of salvation that Jesus taught.
The authorities set a trap for Jesus.  Is it lawful to pay a tax to Caesar or not?  The Lord asks them for a coin because he knew that no law-abiding Israeli would walk around with coins coined by Caesar.  He says to them:  Whose face is this?  They responded that it was of the Caesar.  Then He says:  “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”.  What is it that belongs to God?  Everything belongs to the Lord as the First Reading says:  “Toward the rising and the setting of the sun people may know that there is none besides me.  I am the Lord, there is no other”.
Nothing escapes God’s power.  Sometimes seeing the atrocities that are committed, as in the case of the city of Las Vegas, we think that the darkness has a chance to face God and overcome Him, however, darkness cannot escape the plan of salvation manifested in Jesus Christ, who was chosen as a sacrificial victim to purify, sanctify all who believe in Him.
We are redeemed creatures of God, His image and likeness.  “We live, move and exist in God”.  That is what gives us the strength to live in the world, without being of the world, as Rom. 13:7 says:  “Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due……”.  To each one his own!  This love is “enduring” as Paul says, we receive it from Jesus Christ, “who makes us leave the prison of our selfishness from the Caesar that controls us”.
Upon receiving the Eucharist ask the Lord also for “a thankful memory of what He has done for you through creation, particular gifts, and above all for a strength of heart and discernment of spirit to configure our mind to that of Christ to know how to give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to give to God all the honor and glory forever”.  Amen.