Whatever makes people good Christians makes them good citizens. This is so because as Christians we are citizens of two worlds: the world we see of body and matter and the unseen world of the spirit. As such we have duties in both worlds, to God and society. Seeing the image of Caesar on a coin, Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s” (Mt 22:21). God has the first claim over us before we give our allegiance to anything earthly. As the coin that bears the image of Caesar belongs to him and must be given back to him, so the human person created in the image of God belongs to God whole and entire.
But our belonging to God is inseparable from our belonging to this world. Our faith in God must be dynamic, leading us to actions for others, as St. Paul saw in the lives of Thessalonians for which he admired them saying, “We thank God, for you have shown your faith in action and worked for love” (1 Thes 1:3). As citizens of this world, when we go about our duties to our fellow human beings, there will be times when we feel frustrated, we feel powerless and even lose the sense of responsibility for the common good. Still we cannot give up hope because the Lord who empowered the king Cyrus, “I called you by your name……. though you do not know me” (Is 45:4) and asked him to preside over the restoration of his people in exile —-that same Lord is still with us. His transforming energies are still afloat in the world, empowering us Christians to be bearers of His “grace and peace” (1 Thes1:2) for the restoration of this world. Fr. Albeen.