We hear today in our Gospel reading Christ say, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” (Mt 22:15-21) We are in a political season of great import but also, great tumult and intensity. Political debate is not so much debate as it is an argument. There is, at times, little dignity given to one’s opponent and insult added for good measure. For me, I am sickened by this level of acrimony. And here comes Jesus asking us to differentiate where God is in all this. It is a good question.
Where are we as far as the guidance our faith can offer? What does my Christianity, my Catholicism, call for in this situation? I refuse to fall for the call to hatred of the other that seems to be present. I refuse to see others as enemies or somehow less than full human beings. I want to keep hold of my peace that comes from Christ, my confidence in his Resurrection and Salvation. I must remind myself of his call to love one another, and—amid all the noise—to love God with my mind, heart and strength.
All of this will pass as will the virus. There may be rancor over these divisions that last for a while. The virus may leave its imprint on us for a while. But my faith is my anchor. It is the thing which I must protect and hold onto, no matter the circumstance, no matter the issue, no matter the current state of affairs. My faith is the light that will brighten my way when all this darkness engulfs me. Yes, I will vote, and I will participate in this fragile democracy. I will do my social duty. But I will also not forget the teachings of my Lord, the teachings of my Church, the wisdom of scripture. I will hold onto the stability and dignity of my faith that will, no doubt, still carry me long after November!