What Belongs To God – Fr. Viet Nguyen

Fr. Viet Nguyen’s Homily October 18, 2020

“Now this is what you call a catch 22 or Jesus is between a rock and a hard place because no matter what he answers it’s difficult. In today’s Gospel the pharisees try to trap Jesus and they ask him this because if he answers that you have to pay the census tax to Caesar and answers it like that then he loses his following, his people who believe that he’s going to free them from the tyranny of the Romans, but if he answers no don’t pay the census tax then he would be arrested as trying to overturn Caesar, so it really is a very difficult a very clever thing the pharisees try to do, but this is what of the greatest one-liners of Jesus, ‘Pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.’ but how does he do it? Jesus says, ‘Give me one of the coins and what is on this coin?’ It’s Caesar and so he says, ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.’ but what has the image of God on it? We do. We’re made in the image and likeness of God aren’t we? As well of all creation reflects the image of the creator and so ‘Give to God what belongs to God’ which is everything. Are we doing that in our lives? Do we see ourselves as images and likeness of God? Do we see the people around us as images and likeness of God? Do we treat it like it? This is where the one-liner of Jesus really sinks in in our lives. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God, but oftentimes in our lives we make our decisions based off of fear, don’t we? And so we lose sight of what is in front of us by our fear, but don’t let your fear turn into hatred of the other because what is it to you if you gain the whole wide world, but you lose your soul? So, as you come before the Lord today where Christ is truly present before you in the Eucharist, let us surrender our fears, our anxieties, even our hatreds to the Lord so that we can see clearly, see clearly that we are made in the image and likeness of God that the others before us are made in the image and likeness of God so that we can give to God what belongs to God. Amen.”