In today's gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Matthew 22:15-21, Jesus reminds us of our duty to obey civil authority while emphasizing our duty to God as his disciples and children. Jesus with his response to the Pharisees and Herodians who were trying to trap him with their question “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” clearly stated that it is rightful and lawful to pay tribute and obey civil authority but re-emphasized that civil authority doesn’t enjoy absolute power and dominion hence “repay to God what belongs to God.” Jesus’s response recognizes civil power and its rights but pays great homage to the power of God and respect to the rights of God as taught by the Catholic Church. So in a nutshell, this gospel reading sets parameters for our obligation to God and Civil power. Today in our world, we have this wrong notion or belief that the teachings of God and his Church are an obstacle to our human welfare and growth. This is false as the teachings of God and his Church is a guaranteed guide for the realization of the ultimate goal of humanity. For instance, as we prepare for the upcoming elections here, the Catholic Church reminds us to prepare ourselves with a well-formed conscience before we vote and pay great attention to the welfare of all and the common good, which means, be the light of Christ amidst the darkness of this great country United States of America. As we give to Caesar what is his, are we ready to render to God what is His? Are we ready to proclaim the teachings of Christ with our votes? Are we willing to respect human life from womb to tomb, from conception to natural death and life in all its stages? Are we ready to protect the life of all no matter their color, status, age, gender or beliefs? Are we willing to defend the family, religious liberty, condemn abortion, the death penalty, racism, euthanasia, war, violence, injustice, poverty, hate and shun discrimination of any kind?

My brothers and sisters, remember the word of God to us today in our first reading from the Book of Prophet Isaiah 45:6 “I am the LORD, there is no other.” Hence, it is time for us to stand up for the truth by sincerely rendering and giving to God what is God’s through living out and teaching His gospel in our world today. Amen!