Today’s gospel is a bit tricky. The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus as they often did. He was in one of those “darned if He does and darned if He doesn’t” situations. Jesus tells them to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
At church this morning, our deacon spoke about social justice and the importance of sharing our treasure. Surely that is a good and noble thing, but I don’t believe that this is the point that Jesus was trying to hit home.
I believe that Jesus is making a distinction between the secular and the sacred.
Secular denotes attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis. Sacred would be the opposite – attitudes, activities or things that are holy. When we speak of the secular, it is often to describe the attitudes/things of the world today. In doing so, secular can get a bad connotation. Secular is not (necessarily) synonymous with evil. It ‘s how we use the secular that can move it (and us) into the category of either sacred or evil.
For example, money in and of itself is not evil. It is a tool. It is God provided. It is what we do with money that can either help us and others to become more holy, or cause us to succumb to its power to corrupt.