2 Jun 2015
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.” Yes, we should pay our taxes and follow the laws of this country. We should vote responsibly and be concerned about the social and political issues of our time. We should pay attention to things like money and have a good business sense as a parish, as families, as individuals. We live in the world. And so, yes, we need to repay to the world what belongs to the world.
But we are also citizens of heaven, children of God. And so, to us and all his followers Jesus says: repay “to God what belongs to God.” And what belongs to God other than: devotion and time in prayer; an open ear, a supple spirit; thanks and praise. It belongs to God, above all, to be loved and adored. And, of course, we also love and adore God present in others around us—all others around us.
The Lord knows we are exiles. We’re travelers just passing through this life. We come from the Holy Trinity and we’re on our way back there. We’re just passing through. And the snare that threatens us on our way is when we become too concerned with the things of the world. They’re important, of course: laws, taxes, money, politics. They’re part of our human society and culture. But they, too, are passing.
While we live in the world, we mustn’t forget that we are first and ultimately citizens of heaven. God himself is the Law of our land. He himself is the Spirit of freedom and goodwill that moves us to act. He is our leader; our ever-just, always good, eternally supportive leader.
We live in the world, and we repay to the world what belongs to the world. But we are also citizens of heaven, children of God. And so, in all we do, no matter what we’re focused on, we mustn’t forget God. We mustn’t forget to repay to God what belongs to God.