‘Give Caesar His Coins; Give God Yourselves’

Lent 2014: Readings from Augustine

We read in the Psalm: “The light of your countenance, Lord, is stamped upon us” (Ps 4:7). We are God’s money, but like a coin we have strayed from the treasury. What was stamped on us has been rubbed away by error. He has come to reform it because he is the one who formed it. He too is asking for his money just as Caesar seeks his. That’s why he said, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Mt 22:21). Give Caesar his coins; give God yourselves. Then will the truth be represented in you. (In Ioannem Tr. 40, 9: PL 35, 1691)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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