Week Nine, Tuesday – Tob 2:9-14; Mark 12:13-17
If He said that we should pay the tax to Caesar, He would be accused of favouring the Roman invaders, agitate the Jews and bring even greater hostility. And if He had spoken of not paying the tax, He would have been accused of urging rebellion against Caesar. As always in such verbal traps He emerges victorious. These words directed to the Pharisees and Herodians are also directed to us.
To render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, is to renounce my earthly attachments. From that which focusses me on myself, that triggers my pride and drowns love. Even things in which I experience the will of God, when I fail to give them to Him, can be ordinary human crutches, which distance me from Him. Even things taken for God can lead to enslavement, if lived in isolation from Him, and only because of self and others. Then it may turn out that what was to bring me closer to God more and more distances me from Him.
“Lord, because you have made me, I owe You the whole of my love; because You have redeemed me, I owe You the whole of myself; because You have promised so much, I owe You all my being. Moreover, I owe You much more love than myself as You are greater than I, for whom you gave Yourself and to whom You promised yourself. [. . . .]
Draw me to You, Lord, in the fullness of love. I am wholly Yours by creation; make me all Yours, too, in love.” (prayer of Anselm)