Tuesday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time

The Pharisees and the Herodians had hoped to trick Our Lord into antagonizing either the Jews or the Romans.  They asked him, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”  Their question was posed in order to stir up trouble, trouble that Our Lord sidestepped with wisdom and grace.  Instead of falling into their trap, he gave them an answer so simple and so profound that we are still talking about it today.

So what belongs to Caesar?  Our Lord’s answer makes it pretty clear: a coin bearing Caesar’s name and image.  That coin, with that image stamped on it, tells us that we are bound to give earthly authorities what just laws require of us: the taxes that help keep the government running, along with our willingness to work together for the common good of society.

So what belongs to God?  We do.  Our very souls, like coins, have been “stamped” with his image and likeness.  With the gifts of intellect, emotion, will, and conscience, we mirror the nature of our Creator.

Our entire being belongs to God.  Our heart, mind, will, and strength belong to him.  Our love and affections belong to him, along with our time, energy, talent, and whatever earthly treasures we possess.  Even our weaknesses belong to him: our faults and failures, our past hurts and current wounds, our brokenness and our loneliness.  Our best days and our worst days belong to him.  Everything is his.

God wants us to give ourselves to him each and every day because we are his children.  So let us give ourselves to God today, and give him permission to shape us according to his image.

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