Today, federal taxes are due. Taxes have been a conflicted issue throughout history. In our country, the early east coast settlers hoped to get away from “taxation without representation.” Tax resistance remains an influence on the culture. In biblical times, conquered countries were subjected to extreme taxes by their masters. Jesus lived in Roman-occupied territory where the cruel rate of taxation left people barely able to survive. Jesus’ enemies tried to trap Jesus into saying something either against the Roman rulers, or unsympathetic to the Jewish people. They asked him if he approved of paying taxes. Jesus held up a coin with an engraving of the emperor on it, and said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to him, and to God the things that are God’s.” Today, we are paying the government their share of this year’s material wealth. But we have to make sure that we also give God, whose image is etched on our souls, what is required: our whole-hearted love.
by Mary Jackle, OSB