Monday, 11 August 2008

My Thoughts on Bible Readings for Today

Ah, taxes, some love it, some hate it, some don't give a damn about it. Me, I'm no. 3. But let's talk about Jesus, shall we?
Jesus advocated paying taxes in today's gospel reading. He didn't see taxes as a sign of oppression, greed for other's hard-earned money, taking when the taxer should be earning, etc. Instead all he said was taxes should be paid by those the authorities say should pay them. But that doesn't mean those not under said authority should flaunt that freedom. Rather, they should surrender that freedom for the common good (in this case, so as not to cause bad examples for others). Doesn't mean they become slaves though. Like St. Augustine said, "Love God and do what you want." [Ama Deum et fac quod vis] In other words, do whatever you want (in this case, giving up chosen freedoms) as a desired expression of your love for God. Jesus gave up His freedom to not pay taxes not in a blind way but with knowledge of what His rights are- He just chose not to exercise them.
Next, look at the way Jesus paid his taxes. Not by begging. Not by digging deep into His pockets. Not by reducing future expenses. But by fishing. Now I'm not saying we pay our taxes by going fishing. I'm just saying that God will provide, that we don't need to worry so much about what we lose by paying taxes or where we are going to get the money to pay taxes. Just offer our problems to God and let Him deal with them. We can still work hard, but let's do it not because we worry about what will happen if we don't work hard, but because we love to work hard.

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