Jesus told us we are obliged to be good citizens in every way.

Tuesday, 6/5/12

Today’s Gospel gives us a clear and valuable lesson. Some Jewish religious leaders asked Jesus if it was right to pay taxes to the Romans who ruled their country. Jesus told them they should “Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar, and give to God that belongs to God.”

Where Jesus said, “Give to Caesar the things that belong to Caesar” he meant we should give to the government what belongs to the government. And just as God has a claim on our prayers, so the government has a right to some support for administering its service.

However, by his rule about giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, Jesus was telling us more than that we have a need to pay taxes. He was telling us we should fulfill all the obligations that go with being good citizens. 

In his First letter St. Peter told us, “Be subject to every institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme or to governors as sent by him.”

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