The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

29th Sunday in ordinary Time – September 16, 2011

"Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." (Mt 22,21)

I don't know about you, but if I were forced to choose between Caesar and God, I know who I would choose. When I die, Caesar will not judge me. God will.

We have in our own day an abundance of conflicts between Church and state. Abortion, euthanasia, steam cell researches and biological experimentations, same sex unions … Is this a political matter or religious? If it's deemed political, many believe, the Church should have nothing to say. Attempts to muzzle God go back to the beginning of salvation history. The prophets were put to death for speaking God's truth long before the Pharisees and Herodians tried to entrap and silence Christ. He truth and lie are certainly not political but moral. And we cannot be silent.

" In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

The abortion issue, many say, is a political issue, and therefore a matter for Caesar alone. Men of God, it is said, should be silent. Human life, in fact, is a moral issue, and when the laws of men are immoral, attacking the laws of God and the sacredness of human life, than Godly men should shout from every rooftop, priests should preach from every pulpit, every believing man and woman should speak out and protest. " God the things that are God's." All human life is sacred, from the hands of the creator. "For Thou didst form my inward parts, Thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise Thee, for Thou art fearful and wonderful, wonderful are Thy works!" (Psalm 139) When Caesar's laws are an abomination before God, then it is Caesar who must change.

Whether opposing the culture of death or any tyranny of the political order, the Christian gives first allegiance to the laws of God. "The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community." 'Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' (Mt 22:21) 'We must obey God rather than men.' (Acts 5:29)

'When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.' (Gaudium et spes, 74) (CCC 2242)

"Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." (Mt 22,21)

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