An Ecumenical Ministry in the Parish of St Patrick's Catholic Church In San Diego USA


Tuesday, October 17, 2023



The gospel (Mt 22, 15-21) shows us once again how some try to lure Jesus into a trap with the intention of having something to accuse him of. This happens to Christ, and to those who are like Him, because it bothers the consciences of some who, for personal convenience, prefer not to accept the message of the gospel because this message challenges them to change priorities and be able to renounce injustice in treatment with the rest.

On this occasion the question revolves around the payment of the tax to the Roman Empire. If Jesus answers that it does not have to be paid, it could be an accusation of rebellion against the state, but if he answers that it has to be paid, then it is an excuse for the leaders of the people may condemn him for being in favor of the people who oppress them. It seems that Jesus would be between a rock and a hard place, as we would say. But in Jesus there is wisdom, He knows how to put everything in its place. His response was simply brilliant.

Since the currency with which taxes should be paid bears the printed image of Caesar, then give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. From here arises a second part of the phrase well known to us: give to God what belongs to God. This is why Roman money was exchanged at the temples. And what is God? Very simple, if the image of Caesar was on that coin, where can we find the image of God? This is how it is, in every human being, since we were created in the image of God (Gen 1, 27). This leads us to ask ourselves if today we are giving in our lives what corresponds to God? It is precisely about giving God everything we are. We must strive to walk in the ways of God, so that He is recognized in our existence and we give the fruits of the Spirit of God. This idea is once again very well expressed in the words of Saint Paul: “yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal 2, 20) Amen.

Fr. Carlos Flores, OSA

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