God and Caesar

29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Matthew 22:15-21

At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” – Matthew 22:21

Repay to Caesar. Render unto Caesar. Whatever translation we use, this is one of Jesus’ best-known ‘one-liners’.  It has also been one of the most discussed and argued ‘one-liners’ that Jesus ever uttered.

What did Jesus mean? Continue reading “God and Caesar”

Integrity

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent: Matthew 23:1-12

Long before I was ordained, I remember being at a particular Mass where the priest preached rather strongly against a certain sin. After Mass, as people were leaving the church, one man said to the priest, “You really told them, didn’t you, Father?” The priest replied, “I meant that for you, too!” Stunned and speechless, the man walked out.

When we read or hear Jesus’ strong words about the Pharisees in today’s Gospel reading, we, too, might be tempted to say, “You really told them, didn’t you, Lord?”  We easily forget that the Gospels are not only about events that happened during the life of Jesus. They are also about the life that each one of us is called to live today as followers of Jesus. As such, the sins of the Pharisees mean very little to us today. However, the stories of Jesus that were included in the Gospels were chosen, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, precisely because they had a great deal to say to Christian life. Unless we can see that we, too, can be like these Pharisees, we have missed the point.  Continue reading “Integrity”