The story of Jesus and the Roman coin is sometimes used to argue that Christians should not worry about how their religious duties and their political duties might conflict; one can repay to Caesar the things that are Caesar's without any worry that this might take away from the things that ought to be given to God. But matters are not really that simple because the division between the secular and the sacred is often a blurry one. The coin that was given to Jesus would likely have had an inscription on it -- divi filius -- that ascribed divinity to Caesar himself. That is why Jesus did not have one on his person: to carry such a coin would have been to be complicity in idolatry; it would have implied that he accepted not just Caesar's political authority but also his claim to be a divine being. In other words, as part and parcel of his political authority, Caesar claimed a status and an allegiance from his subjects that rightly belonged to God alone. So while Jesus commands us to give to political authorities what is their due, the whole context of the story implies that political leaders might expect more from us than they rightly should, demanding an absolute loyalty that rightly belongs only to God.
PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Once again, I ask that you please make your contribution to our 2014 ADA. Presently we are at 53% of our goal for 2014 which is $134,411.00. It is very important for our financial stability that we meet this goal along with our other financial obligations. There are blank forms in the back of the Basilica. Please keep our financial needs in mind so our debt does not increase.
My prayers are with all of you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
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From its roots in the Old Testament temple worship, the sacred liturgy of the Church has always seen music as an integral part of our worship. This is no more evident than here at the Basilica of St. John. Whether your tastes run from traditional Gregorian Chant, to contemporary worship with our folk group, to our ethnic diversity with the beautiful music from our Vietnamese and Hispanic choirs, to the timeless classics of the bell choir and our outstanding Basilica Choir, we live to "make a joyful noise," at the Basilica of St. John. In the words of St. Augustine, "He who sings, prays twice."
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