YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 19TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE CHURCH AND GOVERNMENT
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 17:22-27) Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, Jesus deals with the issue of paying taxes and more. They were questioned by tax collectors why they were not paying taxes. Jesus told His apostles that only foreigners pay taxes. But since He did not want to offend and make it an issue, He commanded Peter to fish and it will produce the money needed to pay both of their taxes.
The Gospel account is, of course, more than about paying taxes. At least, Jesus showed that He was a good Jew. Also, He was careful not to offend others merely by not paying taxes. Jesus was not spared of the responsibility every male Jew above 19 years of age had to do. This only means that Jesus’ work of salvation finds flesh in our everyday life, taxes included. Then Sec. Kim Henares would have been proud of Jesus.
Jesus supports governments. He believed that it is an institution where God can manifest and effect His saving action. It is just unfortunate that lately, the separation of the Church from the state is being stressed too much. The Church is not an enemy of the state. It provides a moral conscience to its leaders. In fact, the original essence of the principle was in favour of the Church. Meaning, the Church can enter in the realm of the state but not vice versa. A government which welcomes the critical collaboration of the Church will prosper and become stable. Those which do not crumble.
Strictly speaking, we cannot separate our citizenship from our faith. We are both Filipinos and Catholics. Everything we say and do includes our faith and our life. Our faith provides the principles of living life. Life is the actualization and fruits of what we believe.
Let us pray that the Church and the State will work together for our common good.