1.Is 45:1.4-6
2.Thes 1: 1-5b
3.Mt 22:15-21
Theme of the Sunday “ The Christianity and the State
As we celebrate the 29th Sunday of the year Ordinary time Year A, we are all invited to reflect on the relationship that exists between religion and the state. State and religion are two different entities yet all are there for the well being of man. All of these are instruments of God in ensuring that what all God had created have to be maintained. Each entity has got conditions to be fulfilled.
In the readings, more especially from the Gospel, we see Jewish authorities putting Jesus into dilemma, and on top of that they are asking him a question that seems to have no straight answer, it is just a trap question. They asked Jesus a question about the right to pay the tax to Caesar or not to pay? This was a complex question raised to Jesus and to see his response, thus the question aimed at testing Jesus on account of wanting to know whether Jesus was for Jewish religion or was for Caesar’s authority( State of Romans). The implication of Jesus response would have brought him a trouble in the sense that, if Jesus would have said that it was right to pay tax to Caesar, a pagan ruler, then he would lose credibility to Jewish nation, and more on that  with this in mind he would have been regarded as a friend of Caesar, on the other side of the coin, another implication of his response to their question that if He would have said that it was  not lawful to pay tax to Caesar again it would have been grounds to the Pharisees to accuse Jesus to Romans authorities of convincing  people not to pay tax to Roman authorities and thus this would have him arrested for not obeying the Romans authorities.
Jesus wisely in responding to their complex and dilemma question, he confronts them  with the image inscribed on a coin. Coinage in the ancient World  had significant political power. Rulers coins with their own image and inscription on them. In a certain sense the coin was regarded as the personal property of the ruler, where the coin was valid, the ruler held political sway over the people. Since the Jews used the Roman currency, Jesus explained that what belonged to Caesar must be given to Caesar.
This story has another deeper meaning as well. We too have been stamped God’s image since we are created in his own image and likeness, this is evident from the scriptures “ God created man in his own image...male and female he created them” ( Genesis 1:26-27). Thus we rightfully belong not to our own but rather to God who created us in His own image and finally redeemed us through the blood of His own Son Jesus Christ (1 Cor6: 19-20), Paul the Apostle testifies this when he says “ we are to present our bodies as the living sacrifice to God( Rom12:1)
Several interpretations have been given with respect to this scripture passage, more especially with the heads of the states that Christians should not involve or mingle with Political affairs; likewise, it is used by Christians to say that the state has no right to interfere with religious concerns, it is under this background that the meaning of the scripture passage may be distorted by religious readers to justify that the church has the right to own material goods. But with Jesus’ response to the question posed by the Pharisees this is not an issue, if we are kin to Jesus’ response we realize that in his response he answers them “ give back” what must be given back? Here what does give back imply, it means giving back to God. If we use Caesar’s coins it means that we recognize Roman power. We can’t invoke religious principles only when it is time to pay taxes. Here we learn a lesson of obedience from Jesus that if he was able to listen to temporal power and authorities what about ourselves?? We learn that we should pay attention to  both state and spiritual authorities and at a time we should not confuse them at once, each authority has got its place and importance before us, as each is there for our well being. For Christians the reading gives a moral lesson that through paying taxes, Christians contribute to the common good. No reason can be justified through destruction or theft of the goods of the state.  Whatever type of the society/ state, Christians are called to be attentive in respecting these authorities, moreover, the Christians are called to be exemplar in fulfilling the duties of the state authorities.
Just as the coin must be returned to its owner, the emperor because it bears his image, so we too Christians must return to God what belongs to God, that is the creatures that bears His image, and what is this creature?( Gen 1:27), we should return to God the image he created Himself. No body has got right to own us and to oppress us, because we are sacred and we belong to God. The evil things done to our brothers and sisters in our society today, more especially to the vulnerable of the society distort the image of God created in these people. We should give back what belongs to God by acknowledging his mighty deeds in our lives, by acknowledging the nature, by avoiding treating human person as an object. As we celebrate 29th Sunday of year A ordinary time, let us ponder on our ways of life whether we have returned back what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God in a right manner, and if we found ourselves in debt to God, and  to Caesar, thus it is our responsibility that we have to fulfill our task of serving God and give back what belongs to Him and our task of serving our states and give back what belongs to our civil authorities   

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Chapisha Maoni