We are to be model christians & also model citizens

Fr Dominic
Parish Priest

We give to God something that we do not give to any other earthly ruler,. That thing is worship. This is precisely why we gather in our churches (or at our iPad, or televisions – in these unusual times) to worship God, Creator of the universe and Lord of all.
In today’s Gospel the question put to Jesus was a test question to see whether he would declare himself on the side of those who opposed the paying of taxes to the Romans (e.g. the Pharisees), or on the side of those who collaborated with the Romans (e.g. The Herodians). If he said Yes, he would lose the esteem of the people, and he would be regarded as a Traitor to the Jewish cause and the Jewish religion. If he said No, he could be denounced as formenting rebellion against Rome. In his answer Jesus recognises that the State has a role but its power is limited and does not supplant God.
What are the implications of this Gospel for us today?
The first thing we must remember is that every Christian has dual citizenship. We are citizens of the country in which we happen to live or in which we were born. To it we owe many benefits. To its forces of law and order we owe the fact that we are able to live in peace and security. To its public services we owe transport, water , light, etc. In the welfare state we owe our education, medical care and all the attendant benefits. We are therefore under an obligation to the State and be responsible citizens. Failure to be a citizen is a failure in Christian duty.
As Christians we are also citizens of the Kingdom of God, and owe it certain other privileges, and to it we also have certain obligations. Most times they do not clash but when they do it can create a real dilemma. Our first and deepest loyalty is to God. So to God we render worship but strive to serve our State with integrity.