October 22, 2017 — Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The last line of today’s Gospel Reading from St. Matthew contains one of the more well known of Jesus’ quotes. When asked a bit of a trick question by the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” Jesus responds by asking them whose image is on their Roman coins, to which they respond simply “Caesar’s.”
Jesus’ response to their reply is known to most of us, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” The Lord’s answer is far more perceptive than we might think, and it gives another message to us, one we must always remember. If we are followers of Christ, and if we work to be His disciple, the Lord might ask us, “Whose image is on your soul?” We have learned in the First Chapter of Genesis that God created us in His image.
The coin may be stamped with Caesar’s image, but each of us is stamped with God’s image. Thus, Jesus is implying that the coin may be Caesar’s but each of us belongs to God. In that regard we should be striving to be all those things to which Jesus called us.
That is in effect what a stewardship way of life is — recognizing that God is in each of us, we are to place ourselves in service to God and to one another. That is what is really meant by “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”