The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jose Rizal Santos SVD (Japan)
Tuesday 9th Week in Ordinary Time
It’s not unusual to find people with a double-standard attitude or “hidden agenda.” In the time of Christ, they were the so-called hypocrites, among the scribes and Pharisees. We have coined the word “pharisaical” to identify these people who look gentle and likeable but within them have diabolical hearts; they pretend to be “good shepherds” but inside, they are “ravenous wolves in their hearts.”
We also have the tendency to mix up our religious activities with our social obligations or responsibilities. We need to distinguish between what is “for Caesar,” that is for civil society and government, and what “belongs to God,” or for religious function or participation. We need to know what is due to the Church or Christian community and what is intended for the civil government or political society.
It is laudable when the two entities work together in cooperation and harmony, like job opportunities for the people as well as food supply for the hungry and support for the poor, rather than unfair competition or cruel discrimination between the two societies in the same community.
It is our common task to pay our taxes to the government but it is not fair to prevent believers from practicing their religious persuasion or devotions during Sundays or holidays of obligations or subjugate religion under political rule or government institutions.
We need to draw the line and prevent religious intolerance as well as oppose political dictatorship. That kind of consistency and truthfulness, in word and in deed!
Source – Bible Diary 2020