We are dual Citizens
In the Gospel reading today, the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus in His
words by presenting Jesus an impossible situation. But as we know, with
God….all things are possible. The Pharisees say to Jesus: “Tell us then,
what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus
saw what they were doing and skillfully answered their question by replying
“render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the
things that are God’s.”
This scene reminds me of some biased interviews on TV lately, where
the interviewer is clearly trying to trap his guest, or at least belittle what
they are saying. I remember reading about an interview with Saint
Mother Teresa, where the interviewer was clearly skeptical about Prayer,
and Christianity. The interviewer said basically, “Do you really talk to
God?” Saint Mother Teresa said “Yes, but mainly I listen’. Then the
reporter asked, “Does God talk to you?” Mother Teresa replied “ Yes, but mainly He listens”. After a couple of
moments of awkward silence, the reporter moved on to another subject.
I feel that Jesus is saying to us that we, in a sense, are dual citizens. We have one foot in the temporal world, and
one foot in the spiritual. It is good of course to pay our taxes and be part of the world. We raise our children in this
world, and we find our spouses, and we discover nature which can be absolutely breathtaking. Take a drive to Cape
Breton in the next few days and you will see what I mean. There are many joys in the world.
However, we live in the Spiritual world as well, where at Mass and in prayer, we connect with the Father in heaven.
In fact, it is in the Mass where earth and heaven become one, and we reach perfection, and Jesus is present in our
midst. I am coming to realize that while full communion with God may be something to come in the future, the
kingdom of God truly is present to us today. Last week’s reading really highlighted that to me.
By living in the spiritual world, and living the values of Jesus, we can truly bring a lot to the temporal world.
Take for example the truth that God created us in His image and likeness. To me, that is our first and most important
truth to remember, and our dignity, along with the dignity of everyone, comes from this fact. God created us
out of love, and He wants us to love Him back. How different would the world be, if we looked at each other first
before anything else, as children of God? I feel people are missing the mark when they try to exclude God from the
public arena. The problems of the world are not just political, social, or economic, they are also spiritual. We must
remind the world that we are all children of God. God bless you all, Deacon Dan MacDonald