Audio from 10:30 Mass: https://docs.google.com/a/stpius.net/file/d/0B1r8CMMH17Y0enZHQVFFMkpid3dUalJNcmVEUGphenhrVm5V/edit?usp=docslist_api
There are two truths that are important for today's Gospel, and they both are contained in Jesus' memorable saying, that we should all have memorized: Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.
But also, Jesus demands that we render to God what belongs to God. Caesar is not God, and neither are we. The phrase "what belongs to God" in the context of a Roman coin is meant to connect back to the creation story. The coin had Caesar's image and likeness on it, but we in our very nature were made in God's image and likeness. So for us, to render what belongs to God must mean our entire life!
Sometimes in this imperfect world Caesar and God will butt heads with each other. We know that in our society today, we are seeing conflicts between our faith and the society, and we have to take sides. Jesus will at times make demands on us to be sort of conscientious objectors to society. This is exactly what our bishops have been modeling about the HHS mandate over the past four or five years. There are other historical figures we can think of from our country as well as the world. If it is not promoting the common good, we must oppose it with humility and dialogue, trying our best to influence a change in the society. And here is your challenge for the week: do one thing that promotes the common good in our social order, whether it is researching your vote, writing to the newspaper or to your congressman, or doing some grassroots work for the common good by volunteering in the parish respect life ministries or local community outreaches. If you do that, you will be living Jesus' message for today, rendering to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.