Mark 12:14

This Gospel reading is about the Jews asking Jesus if it was necessary to pay taxes. They were saying this to catch him saying something that they could arrest him for or something that would make the people stop following him. Christ’s response to their trick is to say, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and repay to God what belongs to God. “ This amazes them and they are just as confused about how to arrest them as they were before.

Before they insulted him with such a hypothetical question, they buttered him up saying how truthful he was and how bold he was. Jesus is the truth, so of course he’s truthful, and he is God so of course he’s bold. But our Lord calls us to model after him. The only way to speak truth is to know truth. How do we come to know truth? Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life. Follow after Christ, learn all you can about him, spend time in Scripture, spend time in prayer, go to Mass more often, go to Confession more often. The only way to know the Lord is to encounter him, in his word and in his sacraments. If we wish to speak truth, we must first spend time studying truth.

The second thing Jesus models for us is boldness. We see the Jews saying, “you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.” Do you share God’s love boldly as he did? I know I don’t. We live in a world concerned about niceness and tolerance. I have certainly fallen into that habit. When someone has said something contrary to scripture, I hold my tongue because I don’t want to rock the boat. Jesus says to speak up when this happens. Be bold! Be more concerned about how he sees the situation and less concerned about challenging someone. He stood up for us so we need to stand up for him.

Our Lord knows that the path to heaven is narrow because he paved it that way. He wants it to be narrow so we follow behind him and walk in his every footstep. My prayer today is that we will live boldly for the Lord and seek to know him better so that we may proclaim the truth.

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