Tuesday 9th Week of the Year.
What is the common ground for the people of our nation?
Taking political sides on any given issue
or for any particular party carries great emotions.
We experience this today over some issues
that Democrats and Republicans hold dear to their hearts.
People are more prone to judge and condemn
then they are to listen and find common ground
that both parties can embrace.
Jesus found that common ground
when approached by two rival political parties
in his cultural world.
It all revolved around paying the Roman tax.
This tax was a bone of contention
for many Jewish people, much like abortion is today.
Herodian’s took the side of Rome
and did not mind paying the tax.
The Pharisees saw Rome as an oppressor
and were opposed to paying the tax.
But they joined forces because they hated Jesus
even more than each other.
He was a rival to their faith which went deeper
then their political differences.
So they brought this claim to Jesus
and asked if it is lawful
to pay the census tax to the Emperor.
Jesus used a coin to point out the common ground
that all dissensions can embrace –
we are all created in God’s image.
Jesus responds to his questioners,
“give to Caesar what is Caesar’s
and to God what is God’s.”
Originally the word, “give,”
meant to give back something
that belongs to someone.
Caesar’s image was on the Roman coin
so it should be given back to him.
However, God’s image is in the soul, the mind,
the heart, and the body of every human being.
We all belong to him.
Let us find peace and give each other back to the Lord.
May God grace our nation
that we will seek out God’s image in each other
as a common ground to listen and embrace each other,
despite our differences.
Our Catholic Church has survived 2000 years
because people chose to put Jesus
before anything that divides.