June 4, 2013

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Mk. 12:13-17

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.

Reflection (Sem. Eldrick Peña):

     Today’s gospel speaks of our civil responsibility of paying taxes.  When I was still working, I would complain about the exorbitant taxes that I have to pay.  From income tax, to real estate tax, to value added tax charged to our purchases.  I would consider paying taxes burdensome on my part.  Yet, it is part of our duty to support our government so that they may have the resources to provide basic services to the people and to promote the common good.

     Loving God also follows that we obey the laws and become exemplary citizens of the land especially if they are not in contrast to what the Church teaches.  There are many areas wherein the Church and government could have positive working relations such as the promotion of education, justice, health care, human rights, and many others; but of course, not on anything that is opposed to life.

     Let us give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God, what is God’s.

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