The Question about Paying Taxes
Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday
In todays gospel note how the Pharisees and Herodians use the truth in a dishonest way to achieve their ends. They correctly say that Jesus teaches the way of God in accordance with the truth, but then they try to trap him. Jesus sees through his opponents’ tricks and traps, and he has the personal calm and poise to respond with integrity. Have you ever had that poise or prayed for it in a difficult moment?
The hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Herodians does not lie in the question they are asking (it seems fair and relevant), but in their motivation for asking it. They want to trick Jesus. Do I ever act/respond for less than honest reasons? Have I ever been hypocritical in my dealing with others?
Hypocrisy in the Bible means falsehood, and deceit. Jesus’ opponents are trying to trap him and they are not interested in the truth. What is my relationship with the truth? Do I seek it honestly, without trying to put my own spin on it? Am I open to the truth, especially in my relationships with God and with others? Or do I persuade myself that whatever I want to believe is the truth? Can I spend some few moments in the presence of Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and ask him to help me to see the truth with his eyes and heart.
The emperor (Caesar) was seen as divine being – the son of god, Jesus here asserts that only God is divine, worship is due only to Him. In my life am I consciously or unconsciously worshipping other things?
How do I understand the final reply of Jesus “pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” in the circumstances of my own life and times?