foto1
foto1
foto1
foto1
foto1

หมวดปรีชาญาณ

wisdom books

Bible Diary 2019

IMG resize 2019

บทอ่านและบทมิสซา

ordomissae

พันธสัญญาใหม่

spd 20110902115342 b

บทเพลงศักดิ์สิทธิ์

angels-5b

เอกสารฉลอง 350 ปี

350

พระวาจาประจำวัน

word of God 2

เว็บไซต์คาทอลิก

  • bkk

  • haab

  • becthailand

  • santikham

  • pope report-francis

  • bannerpope

  • cc_link2011

  • 0002

  • thaicatholicbible

  • mass

  • bnbec

  • facebook

สถิติเยี่ยมชม (เริ่ม 22-02-2012)

วันนี้
เมื่อวาน
สัปดาห์นี้
เดือนนี้
เดือนที่แล้ว
ทั้งหมด
633
23603
78677
250921
436281
14561710
Your IP: 3.95.131.97
2019-11-15 01:33

สถานะการเยี่ยมชม

มี 115 ผู้มาเยือน และ ไม่มีสมาชิกออนไลน์ ออนไลน์

29th Sunday of the Year
Isaiah 45:1, 4–6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1–5b; Matthew 22:15–21

Dual citizenship
A dual citizenship gives us a dual obligation to God and to country.

If you walk into the Manchester Museum in England, you can ask to be directed to the Roman coin section. There you will find a shiny silver coin that dates back to the time of Jesus.
Coins like it were used in Israel in Jesus’ day. The coin is technically called a silver denarius.

As you turn the coin over in your hand you think of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke describes the good Samaritan as giving two coins like this to the innkeeper
in exchange for caring for the wounded man.

You also think of the Parable of the Vineyard Workers.
Matthew tells us that the vineyard owner gave each worker one of these silver coins.

And, above all, you think of today’s gospel reading. This is the same type of coin Jesus used to answer the question put to him by the Herodian sympathizers and the disciples of the Pharisees.

As you turn the coin over in your hand you look closely at the coin’s face side, which bears the image of Tiberius Caesar.
He is the Caesar who reigned in Rome during the public ministry of Jesus. He is the same Tiberius Caesar Luke mentions to date the appearance of John the Baptist
at the Jordan River. Luke 3:1
On the back side of the coin is the image of Livia, the mother of Tiberius. She is seated and holding an olive branch of peace.

Why did the Herodians and the Pharisees ask Jesus the question in today’s gospel:

Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?

Jesus hints at the answer when he says to them, You  hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me?

Herodians were members of Herod’s party. They were staunch supporters of Rome’s right to tax the Jewish population. Pharisees, on the other hand, opposed the
tax but paid it anyway to avoid political confrontation
with Rome.

No matter how Jesus answered the question, he would end up alienating one of the groups. Or so the Herodians and the Pharisees thought. As it turned out, the silver coin bearing Caesar’s image gave Jesus an ideal way to answer their question.

When Jesus asked them if they  had a silver denarius on their person, he tricked them into answering their own question.
For to possess a Roman coin was to admit a Roman obligation.

When they produced the coin Jesus said, “Pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” Matthew 22:21



Commenting on Jesus’ response, The Jerome Biblical Commentary has this to say:

[Jesus’] answer evades the question. . . He does not appeal to right but simply to the de facto existence of Caesar’s power,
symbolized by Caesar’s coinage. . . .

The explanation, “Give to Caesar what is his and God what is his,” offers no basis for a theory of politics. Jesus certainly did not intend to divide the world into areas belonging to Caesar and God, each with his respective and exclusive jurisdiction.

Nor did [Jesus] answer the question what belongs to Caesar
and what belongs to God. This he left to the personal decision of each man, who must solve the problem of the opposing claims of God and Caesar.*

We Christians have a dual citizenship. We are citizens of two worlds citizens of this world and citizens of heaven. As such, we have obligations toward each which we must respect and honor. Thus Peter tells Christians in 1 Peter 2:17:
Have reverence for God, and respect the Emperor.

And Paul tells Christians in Romans 13:1, 7: Obey [civil] authorities. . . . Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and show respect [to them ].

It is hoped that our dual citizenship and the obligation we have to each will never clash.

But if they ever do, the Christian must resolve the conflict.
Christians have had to do this since the time of Jesus.
They did it during the Roman persecutions of the Church.
They did it during the Middle Ages. They did it in the 16th and 17th centuries when tens of thousands of Christians
fled to America in order to practice their religion without state intervention.

Perhaps we can illustrate all this with one case, that of St. Thomas More, the English martyr. Robert Bolt dramatized More’s conflict regarding what is Caesar’s and what is God’s
in the book A Man for All Seasons.

Recall the story. King Henry VIII of England is validly married. He appeals to Rome to annul the marriage.
But there is no honest basis for annulment. Rome refuses.
*From The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Vol.11, edited by Raymond E.
Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E.Murphy. ©1968. Reproduced by
permission of Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.


Henry takes matters into his own hands and remarries.
He then orders his friends and officials to sign a document declaring that they agree he acted rightly in the matter. Many of More’s friends sign, but More refuses. Henry demands that he sign or face arrest, trial for treason, and execution by the state.More refuses. He had two obligations, one to God and one to his country When they conflicted,More had no choice
but to remain faithful to his obligation to God.

And so today’s gospel reminds us of our dual citizenship.
We are citizens of the world and citizens of heaven. We have an allegiance and an obligation to each.



We hope the obligations will never clash. But if they
ever do, we must resolve them as Thomas More did,
without  compromise to our God or to our conscience.

Let us close with Thomas Jefferson’s prayer for our nation:

Almighty God, you have given us this good land as our heritage.

Bless our land. . . . Save us from violence . . . and from every evil way. Defend our liberties. . . .

Endow with the Spirit of wisdom those to whom in your name
we entrust the authority of government.

In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble do not allow our trust in you to fail.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Series II
29th Sunday of the Year
Isaiah 45:1, 4–6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1–5b; Matthew 22:15–21

One vote
We are citizens of two worlds, with responsibilities to both worlds.

Some time ago Ann Landers printed a letter in her column
that made a lot of readers stop and think. It was from a person in Missouri who was alarmed at the growing number
of people in the United States who are not exercising their right to vote.

Their excuse is, “My vote won’t matter anyway, so why bother?” And because these people have stopped voting,
they’ve also stopped paying serious attention  to the issues
and to the candidates.

The letter went on to quote from an article in an election manual. The title of the article was “How Important Is One Vote?” Let me share with you some examples of how important a single vote has been in our nation’s history.

Had it not been for one vote in 1776, our official language in the United States would be German instead of English.

Had it not been for one vote in 1845, the state of Texas would not have become part of the United States.

Had it not been for one vote in 1868, Andrew Johnson would have been impeached as president of the United States.

Had it not been for one electoral vote in 1876, Rutherford Hayes would not have been elected president of the United States.

There’s no need to go on; the point is clear. One person’s exercise of the right to vote can make a tremendous difference.

What has been true of the United States has also been true of other nations in the world.

One vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of all England in 1645.

One vote caused King Charles I of England to be executed in 1649.

One vote changed the entire nation of France from a  monarchy to a republic in 1875.

And in 1923, Adolf Hitler became the leader of the Nazi party in Germany by one vote.

Think of it, had it not been for one vote, six million Jews may not have been slaughtered in the worst holocaust in history.

Think of it, had it not been for one vote, World War II, with all of its pain and death, may never have taken place.

There’s no need to belabor the obvious. The point is painfully clear. One vote can, literally, change the world.

Today’s gospel contains a crucial message for every Christian.
Jesus makes it clear that we possess a dual citizenship. We are citizens of two worlds: citizens of earth and citizens of heaven.

And because of our dual citizenship, we have responsibilities toward both worlds: toward God and toward Caesar.

These two obligations are like two sides of the same coin. A failure in our duty as citizens, literally, constitutes a failure
in our duty as Christians.

We have a grave responsibility to keep the administration
of our nation from falling into the hands of selfish and unqualified leaders.

Referring to this responsibility, Peter says to Christians in
his First Letter: “[H]onor God, and respect the Emperor.”
1 Peter 2:17

And Paul writes to Christians in Rome in a similar vein, saying:

Everyone must obey state authorities. . . . Pay, then, what you owe them; pay them your personal and property taxes, and
show respect and honor for them all. Romans 13:1, 7

This leads us to an important final consideration. What happens if our dual citizenship leads us into an open conflict
between our God and our country?

We hope that this will never happen. But if it does, we must resolve the conflict in such a way that we do not compromise
our primary obligation to God.


Christians have had to do this throughout history.

They did it in Roman times when thousands of Christians accepted death rather than worship the emperor.

They did it during the 17th century when thousands of European Christians fled to America to practice their faith.

And they are still doing it in modern times.

Consider the case of Franz Jaeggerstatter, an Austrian peasant and father of three young children.

Jaeggerstatter opposed Hitler in the 1930s. When Hitler marched into Austria and held a mock vote of the people
to show that they approved of his action, Jaeggerstatter
was the only person in his Austrian village to oppose Hitler.

And when war broke out in 1939, Jaeggerstatter refused to report for duty in Hitler’s army. He even refused noncombatant service when this was offered him.

Finally, on August 2, 1943, he was arrested and executed by the military.

Jaeggerstatter had two obligations, one to God and one to his country. When they conflicted in his own conscience, he chose to remain faithful to his primary obligation: to God.

And so Jesus reminds us in today’s gospel of our dual obligation to God and to country.
We hope this dual obligation never comes into conflict in
our conscience. But if it ever does, we must resolve it as
Franz Jaeggerstatter did, without compromising our obligation  to God.
Let’s close with Thomas Jefferson’s prayer for our nation:

Almighty God, you have given us this good land as our heritage. . . .

Bless our land. . . . Save us from violence . . . and from every evil way. Defend our liberties. . . .

Endow with the Spirit of wisdom those to whom in your name
we entrust the authority of government. . . .

In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble do not allow our trust in you to fail.

Series III
29th Sunday of the Year
Isaiah 45:1, 4–6; 1 Thessalonians 1:1–5b; Matthew 22:15–21

Justice
Call no land free until all are treated as God’s children.

Pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God. Matthew 22:21


Ella Wilcox was a teenager in Wisconsin when Lincoln was shot in the late 1800s. She grew up to become a poet and a popular newspaper columnist.

One of her poems is called “Protests.” It speaks out against a host of evils that blotted the face of America in the late 1800s.
The poem goes something like this:

To sin by silence, when you should speak out this makes cowards of us all. The few who dare, therefore, must speak
out against the injustices of the powerful. And so I speak out.
Concerning slavery, she says we can “call no land free”
that holds in chains even a single slave.

Concerning child labor, she says we can “call no land free”
that shackles the wrists of a single child keeping him from rightful fun and play.

Concerning sweatshops, she says we can “call no land free”
that burdens a mother beyond the precious burden beneath her heart.

And concerning the exploitation of poor farmers, she says
we can “call no land free”until it rescues God’s soil from
the greedy and makes it equally available to the needy.
Wilcox’s poem reminds us of the words of the great 19th-century British author, Herbert Spenser. He writes:

No one can be perfectly free till all are free;

no one can be perfectly moral till all are moral;

no one can be perfectly happy till all are happy. RQ 1350

Ella Wilcox and Herbert Spenser are simply applying to life the teaching of Jesus in today’s Gospel:

They are protesting the fact that Caesar is getting far more
than he deserves in our world; and God is getting far less.

In other words, Caesar’s legal system is being used to help the greedy powerful and to exploit the needy powerless.

This brings us to each one of us in this Church.
Today’s Gospel contains a crucial message for every Christian. Jesus makes it clear that we possess a dual citizenship. We are citizens of two worlds: citizens of
earth and citizens of heaven.

These two citizenships are like two sides of the same coin.
This means we have responsibilities and obligations toward both worlds.


Thus, Peter says in his First Letter that as Christians we must have both “reverence for God, and respect for the Emperor.” 1 Peter 2:17

This leads us to a critical consideration.

What happens when the citizenships of these two worlds clash with one another, as they did in the time of Wilcox and still clash in our own time?

Wilcox says we must put our talents and gifts at the service of justice.

Consider an example of a conflict that has been raging now
for a number of years.

I t is the accusation that Pope Pius XII spoke out too little and too late about the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis in World War II.

An example of such an accusation is a book by a British Catholic named John Cornwall and which bears  the inflammatory title Hitler’s Pope.

A Texan named J. Sparks felt compelled to speak out and challenge Cornwall’s conclusions. He cites the judgment of people far more qualified and in touch with the context and
issues than Cornwall who comes to a totally opposite judgment.

For example, the Christmas issue of the New York Times for 1941 reads:

The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas. . . . He is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all.

And listen to these words of one of the most prominent Jews of our century, Albert Einstein, who said,

Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler . . .
 the Church alone had the courage and persistence to stand
for intellectual truth and moral freedom.  I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised, I now praise unreservedly.

Finally, he reminds us of the words of the Israeli representative to the United Nations and future Israeli prime minister on the occasion of Pius XII’s death. Golda Meir said:

We share the grief of the world over the death of His Holiness Pius XII . . . During the 10 years of Nazi terror, when our people passed through the horrors of martyrdom, the Pope raised his voice to condemn the persecutors and to commiserate with their victims. Dallas Morning News: 10/1/99

None of us have at our disposal the talent and the newspaper column as did Ella Wilcox.

None of us have at our disposal the nation’s leading  newspaper to speak our views as did the editors of the
New York Times.
And practically none of us have at our disposal the stature and prestige to command respect as did Albert Einstein or Golda Meir.

But each of us has at our disposal three gifts from God to do battle against the injustices of society.

And what are these three gifts?

First, we have our personal witness to what we believe is right and just.

Second, we have the Eucharist to give us the courage to bear such witness.

And finally, we have the power of prayer to beseech God to open the hearts of our leaders to act justly.
I f Catholics used these three gifts to the fullest, the results would  ripple across our nation and impact it in a way  we never dreamed possible.

It is this message that Jesus reminds us of in today’s Gospel.
It is this message that Jesus wants us to implement in our daily lives and share with our brothers and sisters.