In a recent RCIA class we were discussing creation with the passages from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. We were reminded that God created everything that we can see, touch, smell, taste and hear. Everything belongs to God as He created everything.
In today’s Gospel the Pharisees and the Herodians attempt to be as subtle as the serpent in the Garden of Eden when they set a trap for Jesus. When they ask whether it is right to pay taxes or not?
The root of the trap is that many of the Jews held to the ancient law that images were forbidden. Many others did not want to pay taxes to the occupying Romans. They knew that if Jesus advocated for the non-payment of taxes to the Romans then they could have had him arrested by the Romans for encouraging political resistance. Jesus was not like Adam and Eve; he saw through their trap. The fact that they had a coin available is noteworthy (even though they didn’t want to use the Roman coins, they had one).
By stating that they should give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God what is God’s, Jesus avoids the trap and sets a principal which holds today. We, as Christians must recognise that everything belongs to God and we need to contribute to society through our civil responsibilities, in this case paying taxes.
In discussions at an Evangelising Cell meeting this week, we looked at how far we should take this; challenging each other on things like when we have work done at home, do we ever ask what the price would be for cash? Hence avoiding the tax!
In these times when many businesses are struggling and many of us opt for the easiest option, how discerning are we when we choose which companies to give our business to? Do we choose a local family run business who may cost a little bit more and in the good times maybe sponsor a local sports team or provide prizes for a school fete or do we choose a multi-national company with a reputation for next day delivery, massive profits, and very little evidence of paying tax at appropriate levels, if at all?
Do we recognise that all we have comes from God? How do we share the many blessings bestowed upon us in our everyday life?
This October we are asked to contribute to Cafod and Missio over two successive weeks. We know that Covid 19 has hit our country hard; with thousands dying, and many people still feeling the effects of the virus months after they were first diagnosed. Hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs and many others are fearful of losing their jobs, but the people served by Cafod and Missio have no health care except what we provide through our contributions to these organisations.
Can we reflect God’s generosity to us by how we support these organisations?
Please keep in your prayers this week
- Those completing the Baptism Preparation Course this Sunday.
- Those who work in the Missions
- Those looking for work.
- Our doctors, nurses, medical staff and care workers, unpaid carers and all other keyworkers as the Coronavirus seems to be spreading further again.
- Saturday 17th October is the International Day for the eradication of poverty, we pray for all those who are striving to end poverty in our world.