The Gospel According to Matthew – 2017.10.22
The Way is Mindfulness
Listen to Jesus, the way is not concerned with the concerns of political parties, and zealots.
Pay taxes or not, it does not matter. What does matter is whether the choices you make reflect the desire of God to see that all people live well, are fed, are housed, are clothed and educated, that their basic needs are met.
If paying taxes, no matter who the taxes are paid to, furthers the ends of a just and ethical society, then pay them. If not, then not.
If waging a tax protest advances the suffering of the people, to no good end, then do not protest; pay. If not, then not.
Be mindful, in all things you do, and evaluate the choices you are pondering both for the immediacy of their impact, and the long-term consequences that will flow from them as well.
The Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap Jesus in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with the Herodians, to say, ‘Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in an honest way, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you. Tell us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, ‘You hypocrites! Why do you set this trap for me? Let me see the money you pay the tax with.’ They handed him a denarius, and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they replied. He then said to them, ‘Very well, give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God.’
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time