Fr Frank writes:
My Dear Friends,
In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees and the Herodians ask Jesus a tricky and embarrassing question in order to trap him.
The nationalistic Jews saw the payment of taxes as illegal. These were not taxes collected to improve public services, but a levy imposed by the victorious Romans over a defeated nation – a tribute to Caesar. This was considered to be an affront to the people and to God. On the other hand, those who feared the Romans saw the refusal to pay taxes as inciting rebellion. Whichever way Jesus answers he is in trouble – either with his own countrymen or with the Romans. Jesus’ sharp response shows his irritation with these mischief-makers. It is also a clever answer which avoids the trap set by his wily foes whose malicious intent he has perceived : ‘Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.’
We, like those addressed by Jesus, owe a duty to civil authority and have the responsibility of being useful and law-abiding members of society. But above all our primary duty is to God to whom all things belong.
May God our loving Father richly bless you.
GREENWICH MEAN TIME: clocks go back one hour next weekend. An extra hour in bed on Sunday morning!
Sunday Smile: At the wedding rehearsal the bride was rather anxious. To reassure her the priest said she had nothing to worry about until after the first hymn had been sung. She was to walk calmly down the aisle towards the altar ready to sing the hymn prior to making her vows. On the day of the wedding she processed into church and was heard repeating the words: ‘Aisle, Altar, Hymn.’