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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

BALANCING YOUR DUAL CITIZENSHIP


 

Today’s Readings:

Isaiah 45:1,4-6

Psalm 96:1,3-5,7-10

1 Thessalonians 1:1-5

Matthew 22:15-21

 

Jesus says in today’s Gospel reading: “Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.”


What does this mean?

It means that we have dual citizenship; we are citizens of earth and of heaven. As citizens of earth, we have to be law-abiding and patriotic—pay taxes, participate in elections and obey the laws of the state. As citizens of heaven, we ought to place our allegiance to God before anyone else—love God above all things and love your neighbour as yourself. In this regard, there is no contradiction between honour shown to civil leaders and the worship of God. Worship belongs to God alone. Civil authority ought to be respected since it has its origin in God.


If Jesus said it was unlawful to pay taxes to Caesar, Herod’s soldiers could arrest Him. If Jesus said that the people should pay taxes to Caesar, the Pharisees could turn the people against Him. It appeared to be a lose-lose question posed to Jesus. Of course, Jesus’ answer was perfect. Without violating the Law of God, He also refrained from violating the civil law. Upon hearing His answer, all who heard Him “were amazed, and leaving him they went away.”


What are some lessons to take from Jesus today?

  • Be slow to speak – Nothing good ever comes from speaking quickly and rashly.

  • Strengthen your relationship with the Holy Spirit – Let God guide your thoughts by His Word and your lips by His anointing and your actions by his inner prompting. This way, your actions will always be filled with grace.

  • Speak the truth in love – Always think of the good of the person you seek to address and not just about yourself. Your words ought to correct, build up and strengthen. Do not tear others down with what you say, even if they deserve it. Be in control of your emotions.

  • Be honest and direct – A lot of problems will be solved if we speak honestly with the ones, we have misunderstandings with. Let the other person know the wrong they have done admit your fault and apologise if necessary.

  • Shine in the world – You are a model for how people ought to relate in the world. Let your life be an example to them.

  • Do not be Afraid – According to Saint John Paul II. whose famous words were, “Do not be afraid. Open, I say open wide the doors for Christ. To His saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization, and development.” Our faith calls us to dialogue with others and bring them to Christ.

JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

Prayer:

  1. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father and the unction of the Holy Spirit guide and protect you now and always.

  2. Holy Spirit of God, fall afresh on my heart. Heal my wounds of selfishness and prompt all my thoughts, words and actions with your grace. Lead me constantly on the path of love and away from selfishness and bitterness.

  3. Help me, by your grace, to bring others to know and follow you every day. Amen.

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