For the LORD, your God, is the God of gods,
the LORD of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome,
who has no favourites, accepts no bribes;
who executes justice for the orphan and the widow,
and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.
So you too must befriend the alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
God is for everyone, available everywhere and above all things.
The definition of God is plain and simple but the people have made him complicated and superstitious. The definition of God for me is he is everywhere and can be reached at any time or any place or any circumstances. He is fair to everyone and controls and balances all things. He is the most common element easily available than the earthly elements like Water, Air or Soil.
If we read the readings of today, the writers want to give us a similar message. God in the old testament was a God of loving and compassion who took care of his people and loved the victimised and hopeless. He tells all his followers to do the same. In the Gospel Jesus who was not the Subject either to the Romans or to the temple authorities humbles himself and becomes a foreigner or alien in his own house and pays tax to the temple authorities.
Temple Tax or Census Tax was taken in one of the festivals once in a year when Census was taken by Moses in the old testament. It is half Shekel which is equal lent to two days wages of that time. Through this action Jesus is giving us an example to pay taxes more than expected to the Temple authorities and even to the governments. This also shows that we must pay the taxes first despite of how it has been used or spent by the authorities. Jesus paid double the portion and thus it gives us an example to pay taxes more than expected by the authorities.
Jesus makes miracle by telling Peter to hook a fish and a Coin comes out of the fish. God can give us from nothing and expects us to give or show mercy to the foreigners or strangers or asylum seekers despite of their caste, creed, colour, language or religion. This kind of God we serve who do not create divisions but unites people together. This kind of ways we follow, though we have freedom and not deserved to be slaves but for the sake of others we act like slaves not to offend our fellow least brother or sister. This is the real Christian Religion. Christianity is a not a group or a Way of life but it is to become God to others by loving, serving and just being good to others despite their resistance or evil action against us. This message is taught to us by Jesus and this is the reason we call our self Christians.
If we think we lose our lives for others and fear failure or death , God is the one who is above all things who provides, heals, protects, balances and takes care of his Children who want to be God to others. Let us be God to others and follow the footsteps of Jesus which resemble God’s ways in this World.