Feast of St. Justin, Martyr
2 Peter 3: 12-18
Mark 12: 13-17
Peter, in our first reading today, challenges us to "Wait…" for our true security lies in our faith and trust in God’s promises, as we "…await a new heaven and a new earth where justice dwells." Justice in the biblical sense means the fulfillment of all God’s promises in the reality of our lives. Therefore we are called to act justly as we "wait" …called to be honest and conscientious according to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts…so as to …grow in peace in the knowledge and patience of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This peace through justice in our hearts and lives includes our families, neighbors, co-workers, and other members of our faith communities…our neighborhood, our cities and our world.
Our question to ponder today: Where are we called to work to bring peace through justice?
Our Psalm response reminds us that as we work for justice. "In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge". And so we pray with the Church today: "Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy all our days. Let your work be seen by your servants and your glory by their children."
In today’s gospel, we see Pharisees and Herodians attempting to trap Jesus…first by compliments…then a question: "Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" Knowing their hypocrisy, Jesus asked: "Why are you testing me?" Requesting a coin, Jesus asks whose image and inscription is on this? They respond: "Caesar’s," Jesus responses: then "Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."
The Gospel ends with no specific answer, because they were not seeking an honest answer but were trying to find something that would incriminate Jesus himself
And validate their own hypocrisy.
As we ponder and enter into these readings today, especially as we are preparing to vote in some of our areas: Where in our lives now are we called to Biblical Justice, personally and in our communities? Where are we called to distinguish who and what belongs to God, so as to respond to God’s will… and what belongs to legitimately earthly authority for the good of all.
Sr. Marcella Fabing, CSJ, is on the staff of Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.