Today's Gospel: Luke 20, 27-40
This passage deals with the concept of allegiance – namely, to what/whom do we owe our loyalty? Is it possible to maintain the proper balance between civic duty and religious conviction? And are our human promises meaningful in the next life?
Essentially, the two different teachings Jesus provides in this passage both encompass and answer our questions concerning what our priorities should be. When he instructs the Pharisees to “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” he isn’t indicating that our highest priority should be obedience to the state, but rather that we must respect our country and its laws.
Sometimes (and especially in this day and age), our Catholic morality can conflict with political issues – but this is no reason to neglect our duties as citizens. After all, the only way we can positively influence our country’s future decisions is by giving our support, remembering that we are members of this world as well as of the Kingdom of God. From the time of the New Testament to the modern day, Jesus encourages us to love Him in every aspect of our lives – including our attention to government matters.
Lastly, this passage also serves as a reminder that, in the end, we all belong to God. In Heaven, though we won’t be bound by earthly institutions like marriage, this only means that we’ll be closest to God. While we balance our various priorities on Earth, we should always reflect on the next life, in which our sole focus will be on our Lord. This truth doesn’t remove the significance of our earthly bonds and responsibilities. Rather, it should motivate us to work harder in this life, since our ability to properly give our attention to God, country, and others is the greatest contribution most of us can offer.
Have you experienced a time when your faith/commitment to living virtuously has been in conflict with some aspect of politics? How do you think believers should deal with this kind of problem, and how do you think you could use your civic duty to serve God?
Lord, please help me to use my time on this earth wisely, balancing my various commitments, endeavors, and responsibilities in order to give You glory in my daily life. I know You have given us these institutions as part of Your plan for humanity, and I want to do Your will in every aspect of my life – please give me the grace to do so. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Elizabeth Baruzzini
I am a newly married Catholic woman who is always looking to grow in my faith, while managing the various duties of everyday life - I'm definitely a work in progress, but I love to write and read about my faith and am working on doing so more often in the future.