Today’s Gospel: Mark 12:13-17
In this passage we come across the very famous line of Jesus’ “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” Jesus knew that the question he was answering about paying taxes was a trap. So, instead of a simple answer he turns the question around and asks his inquisitors to show him a coin, a denarius, then asks whose image is on the coin – Tiberius Caesar.
This summer, while on a trip to Capri Italy, I gained a little insight into Tiberius Caesar. While on a boat tour around this mountainous island our guide pointed out an extremely high cliff towering above the ocean. The name of the cliff was Tiberious’ Leap. Apparently the Emperor would bring servants, wives, and anyone else he tired of and made them leap to their death. Not a nice guy. Tiberius Ceasar was a tyrannical emperor whose money was considered to be dirty and corrupt by the Jewish people. Jesus’ gloriously ambiguous answer was a clear message to his followers. Let Caesar have this corrupt money. We should focus on God.
Our money may not be as corrupt as the Roman denarius but if we focus on it too much it can be – money, power and other earthly items can become false gods. Everything we have is from our one true God Who cares for us and provides for us. This is a good reminder that our earthly possessions should not be our primary focus – after all they can be destroyed in an instant. Our treasures should be stored in Heaven.
Is there anything in your life that has become too important to you? How can you change your focus?
Dear God, thank You for all You have given us. Please help us to remember You will always provide everything we need.
Copyright 2017 Leslea Wahl
Leslea Wahl is a Colorado author who writes Catholic Young Adult novels. Her debut novel The Perfect Blindside won a 2016 First Place Catholic Press Association Book Award. She strives to encourage teens in their faith through her fun adventurous mysteries. Visit her website www.LesleaWahl.com for more information on her books.