Prayer –O Lord, let me give you everything.
Imagination – (Picture Jesus confronted by the Pharisees.)
Israel had two political groups. One sought total allegiance to Rome. The other sought independence, even by war if necessary. The Pharisees want to force Jesus to take one political position or another. By using the coin, Jesus evades the question and provides a solid principle in these questions. Some things belong to Caesar and some to God.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
The Pharisees talked among themselves about how to ensnare Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, ‘Master, we know that you are truthful and teach God’s way sincerely. You seek no one’s favor and do not act out of human respect. Therefore, tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not. Jesus, knowing their wickedness said, “Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.”
When they handed him a small Roman coin, he asked them, “Whose inscription is this?” “Caesar’s”, they replied. He said, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The Pharisees have hardened hearts. They are not open to Jesus’ word.
- They begin with flattery, covering over their inner wickedness.
- What they say is correct. Jesus is truthful, a man from God, and he does not seek human favor.
- Jesus reads their hearts. They are hypocrites, pretending to be his friend but wanting to trick him.
- Their deadly question is meant to destroy Jesus’ popularity. However, his wisdom is greater.
- What could be more obvious. Caesar and God have rights. Give to each what belongs to them.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, give me a heart open to your words of everlasting life.
- Reveal my inner wickedness. Strip me of all pretense. Let me stand in your truth.
- O Jesus, you have come from God and you have returned to God. You are the only way.
- Jesus, how great is your wisdom. Share your light with me.
- O Jesus, I render everything to you. I surrender all my rights to you.
- Whom else should I trust? You are the Holy One of God.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
- I will see Jesus as the One sent by the Father.
- I will give Jesus everything.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Render to God what belongs to God.