Letter from the pastor
Dearest Friends in Christ,
In today’s Gospel we hear our Lord saying “...repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” The Pharisees, who were attempting to entrap Jesus in this situation, would have immediately called to mind Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his image...male and female he created them.” So Jesus is telling them and all humanity that we have been made in the image and likeness of God. Now if we bear God’s own image, then this means that we owe Him our very lives – all our heart, mind, soul and strength, offered as a living sacrifice of love. This is why Jesus taught that the greatest commandment is that of loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
So being made in the image of God is not something as though God hung on the wall of our souls some stationary picture of Himself. Rather it “is a dynamic source of inner spiritual energy drawing our minds and hearts toward truth and love, and to God himself, the source of all truth and love.” – US Catholic Catechism for Adults. This is not just the reality for baptized Christians but for all of humanity. We have all been created in the image and likeness of God. St. Francis de Sales once wrote, “The dignity of resembling the Almighty is common to all men; we should then love them all as ourselves, as living images of the Deity.” Here we clearly understand why Jesus followed that greatest commandment with a second commandment, namely to love our neighbor as ourselves.
And so as we continue our sojourn here on earth, let us strive this week and all the days of our lives to be obedient to these two great commandments, precisely because we as well as all of humanity have been created in God’s image and likeness.
Pax et bonum,
Fr. Justin R. Ferguson