After hearing passage from the Gospel all of us have to ask ourselves
what in our lives belongs to God and what belongs to Caesar?
Yes everything we have comes from God.
In God we find our origin, our reason to live, and our ultimate goal.
In everything we do we should try to live our lives as God would have us live them.
God obviously comes first … and God’s will comes first.
And when we put God’s Word and God’s will first in our lives, then we will be the best husband or wife, the best dad or mom, the best person, and the best citizen we can, be no matter what our calling in life.
But the parable clearly teaches that we also owe something to our Brothers and Sisters and to our society… “give to Ceasar what is Caesar's”
Because we benefit from many things in our country we are obligated to contribute to the common Good.
We share the benefit of the roads and the infrastructure and we are obligated to share in their expense. Obviously Giving to Caesar means being willing to pay our fair share of taxes.
But being a responsible Catholic citizen demands more.
The Gospel teaches us that we are all brothers and sisters.
Therefore we need to live lives of service.
We should be involved in our communities.
We should go beyond the bare minimum in helping those in need.
We should coach little league teams,
and camp out with scouts.
We should wash cars for the next band trip and donate food to the food bank.
We should share with those in need and those who go without.
For followers of Christ living lives of service and sharing with those in need are are not a pious extras.
They are part and parcel of the Gospel’s call to love one another has God has loved us.
Very Sadly we all fall short on this and our Holy Father Pope Francis is challenging us to change this.
If we all did a little more the world would be such a better place.
Our country and our culture
needs our participation in our common life.
We do this in several ways:
The first is obviously by voting.
When we go to vote it is our right and our duty to take with us all of our values and ideas.
We have a right and an obligation to vote according to our conscience
weighing carefully what every candidate clearly stands for and comparing them to the gospel values which should mold and shape our lives.
But our call to participate goes beyond simply voting in elections.
All of us are also called to participate in our culture by helping to form it. This is really important.
We are called to contribute to the discussion which shapes our culture and its values.
Our culture needs our values,
Our culture needs our ideas our hopes and our dreams
Our culture needs our witness.
Our culture needs us.
And don’t let anyone tell you that our values can’t be part of the public discussion because they are rooted in our religious faith.
That’s not what the constitution meant by separation of church and state.
When our forefathers wrote about the separation of Church and State they were wisely forbidding a formal state religion not the exclusion of religious values from public life.
The constitution itself was formed in part by the religious beliefs and values of those who wrote it.
We have a right to share our beliefs no matter where they come from.
Let’s participate, let’s discuss, let’s debate let’s listen to the ideas of others and engage them.
So How do we give to Caesar what is Caesar's then?
By living lives of service and sharing with those less fortunate.
By voting with our conscience and our values.
By participating in the formation of our culture.
And doing all these things with a gentle and loving heart.
This is what giving to Caesar what is Caesar's is all about.
Today’s second collection is for World Mission Sunday… a perfect chance to share with those who are less fortunate in the world.
It’s a perfect chance to give to God what is God’s and give to Caesar what is Caesar's.