Gospel: Mk 12:13-17
They sent to Jesus some Pharisees with members of Herod’s party, with the purpose of trapping him by his own words. They came and said to Jesus, “Master, we know that you are truthful; you are not influenced by anyone, and your answers do not vary according to who is listening to you, but you truly teach God’s way. Tell us, is it against the law to pay taxes to Caesar? Should we pay them or not?” But Jesus saw through their trick and answered, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a silver coin and let me see it.” They brought him one and Jesus asked, “Whose image is this, and whose name?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God, what is God’s.” And they were greatly astonished.
Why are you testing me? As a devout Jew, Jesus certainly did not approve of the Roman occupation of Israel. Most likely he was indignant toward the Romans and pained for his people. Yet Jesus was not a militarist. He did not join the Zealot movement that one generation later revolted against and was crushed by the Romans. While critical of the Roman Empire, he paid his taxes. Jesus discerned when to denounce, when to keep silent, and when to collaborate critically. We pray for the grace of prudence as we discern our response to authorities, whether familial or institutional, ecclesial or political.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018