Every ruler needs to know what God tells King Cyrus in today’s First Reading: “I have called you . . . though you knew me not.” (X 2)
As we cast our eyes south of the border we hear many voices predicting and speculating about flawed human leaders. We must pray that those elected will be instruments of God for life as well as for liberty.
The Roman occupation during Jesus’ day was, in a similar way, a judgment of Israel’s unfaithfulness. Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel are a powerful reminder of this: “Render unto Caesar and unto God what is God’s.” We are exhorted to keep our allegiances in priority because everything belongs to God.
The Lord alone is king and the Kingdom of God is in this world but not of this world.“My Kingdom is not of this world,” Jesus tells us as recorded in John ch. 18; but it begins here in His Church which reflects God’s glory among all peoples. As citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20), we are called to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:14)—working in faith, labouring in love, and enduring in hope, as today’s Epistle counsels us.
The secular government is there to show concern for the common good and obedience to laws—unless they conflict with God’s commandments as interpreted by the Church (Acts 5:29). So we must pay taxes but we must not submit to the anti-life policies which threaten all humanity.
We owe God everything. Yes, the coin bears Caesar’s image but we, his baptized people, bear the image of God. (Genesis 1:27). We owe God our very lives—all our heart, soul, mind and strength, offered as a living sacrifice of love (Romans 12:1–2) in the Body of Christ.
We pray for our leaders that, like Cyrus the Great, they do God’s will (1 Timothy 2:1–2)—until from the rising of the sun to its setting, all humanity knows that Jesus is Lord.
Readings: Isaiah 45:1,4–6