The Pharisees were trying to catch Jesus and instead the answer He gives puts them in their place. But what, exactly, belongs to God? Well, everything, of course! Today's Gospel encourages us to take a look at everything we do and everything we are and asks us to put our lives and efforts in proper perspective. It is not enough to tithe our income without tithing our time; indeed, it is not enough to just tithe at all. Our entire fortune, our entire effort, our entire life belong to God. We enter this life on earth with nothing and we leave here with nothing. Our lives are about our stewardship of what we have been given—our time, talent and treasure—all of our good gifts put to good use for the Kingdom!
Before Jesus gives his famous answer about the coin, he asks: “Whose image is this (on the coin) and whose inscription?” This question is really about us—whose image do we bear, and where is our allegiance? Most unbelievers turn from our faith because of Christians who are seen to profess with their lips, but not with their lives. We all carry the sign of Baptism—but it is in what we do, in what we say, and in what our priorities are—that people know we truly stand for Christ.
Our work here and now, and our everyday choices determine our eternal future. This is the challenge of our faith and of our stewardship of our Gifts: our time, talent and treasure. All we have comes from God, and it is not ours to keep but to share. Isaiah tells us today that God says: “I have called you by your name…” God has chosen you! So, choose God in all your acts. Like last week’s parable was about God’s invitation, and we had to ask ourselves how we respond. This week, when people look at you the question is: whose image, whose imprint upon you do they see?