Recently a taxpayer found out how thoughtful the IRS can be. They called him
in for an audit, and when it was over they smiled warmly and said, "We’ll call
you a cab." "No thanks," he told them, "I have a car." They said, "That’s what
you think." The government has ways of getting what it wants.
In Jesus’ time the Romans ruled Israel with armies and political power. They
levied heavy taxes. In today’s Gospel Jesus’ enemies try to trap him by asking
whether they should pay the Roman census tax. He instead puts them on the spot
by asking them to show him a Roman coin. Jesus himself doesn’t even possess such
Since the coin comes from Caesar, the leader of the Roman government, Jesus
tells his questioners to "repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar." More
important, he reminds all people that we have responsibilities toward God. We
must give "to God what belongs to God."
All creation comes from God and belongs to God. God gives us our lifetime,
our talents, our possessions. God is Creator, Protector, Redeemer, and Judge.
Yet we can get so busy with details of everyday life that we forget to give to
God what belongs to God.
A good place to start would be the three theological virtues: faith, hope,
•By faith we believe in God and accept the truths that God reveals. We
express our faith by professing it, by good works, and by sharing it with
•By hope we desire heaven as our final goal and have confident assurance of
achieving it with God’s help.
•By charity we love God above all, and our neighbor as ourselves. True
charity is modeled on Christ’s unconditional love and helps us keep God’s law
At every Mass we should express our faith, hope, and charity in enthusiastic
worship. We should begin each day with acts of faith, hope, and charity. The
government takes its share out of our paychecks. God doesn’t deduct. He invites.
Our Blessed Mother shows us how to respond to this invitation. She gives her all
to God: "I am the handmaid of the Lord."