Friends, in our Gospel Pharisees try to catch Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. Jesus deftly escapes from the trap with one of his famous one-liners: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” Clever, but much more than merely clever. In some ways, it is the implicit resolution of this very vexing problem.
We should not read this one-liner as though there is a clearly demarcated political realm that belongs to the Caesars of the world and a clearly demarcated spiritual realm that belongs to God. And we certainly shouldn’t read it in the modern mode—that the public arena belongs to politics, while religion is relegated to the private dimension.
No, this won’t do, precisely because God is God. Not a being in or above the world, not one reality among many; God is the sheer act of being itself, which necessarily pervades, influences, grounds, and has to do with everything, even as he transcends everything in creation.
God is the deepest source and inspiration for everything in life, from sports to law to the arts to science and medicine. God is love itself. Everything comes from God and returns to God.