The Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul
Weekly Reflection by Mother Marie Julie, SCMC
My Dear Good People,
In this week’s Sunday Gospel we hear the intriguing words of Jesus,
Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s (Mark 12:17).
What a timely reading. It sounds like Jesus is saying, There’s Church and then there’s State. No happy medium. No argument. On Sunday we’re Catholics and on Monday we’re Americans or Mexicans or Japanese.
But we know better. Jesus paid His taxes (Matt: 17:27). He prayed. He lived the life of a fervent Jew, yet He allowed Himself to be condemned by a Roman Governor. He was very much a citizen of two worlds, this world and the Next. And so are we. But they are not mutually exclusive. In a perfect world, if we live as truly good citizens of our country and as truly good citizens of our Heavenly Homeland God will see us as ‘Good People.’ Think of a fervent confession: ‘Father, I find myself exceeding the speed limit on the highway. I’m sorry that I’m not more mindful of my brothers and sisters traveling to their own destinations.’ Here is where the law of the land and the law of God merge.
Does this sound simplistic? It gets harder, doesn’t it? There are civil laws that we know are not just, that disturb our consciences as faithful Catholics. We know that always and forever the law of God must come first. In our current western society, it isn’t always easy to discern the best course of action when it involves weighing situations that ask us to compromise our Christian values, because even that isn’t always clear. Nor is it without consequences. Think of times when a boss or a manager wanted us to do something that was dishonest in writing up a report….
As Catholics we don’t consider ourselves above the law. Certainly not above God’s law, and not above the law of the land. But we must be sure our consciences are both formed and informed in such matters. Thus we ask the Holy Spirit first for wisdom, then for strength and fortitude.
Let us pray that our country will once again become a nation where giving to God what is God’s will never be at odds with giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s.
Good Jesus, enlighten the eyes of our minds.
With loving prayers,
Mother Marie Julie
and the Sisters of Charity
of Our Lady, Mother of the Church