"Whose likeness...is this?" —Mark 12:16, RSV-CE
We are like coins. The image of God was stamped on us at Baptism. We were sealed with the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. The image and seal proves to the world that God owns us.
Like cattle branded with the mark of their owner, people who saw the Roman coin could tell whose image was on it, and to whom it ultimately belonged. The Roman coin was stamped with Caesar's image. Therefore, Jesus said it ultimately belonged to Caesar and should be given to Him. By implication, Jesus says that we who are stamped with the image and likeness of God (Gn 1:27) must give to God what belongs to Him, our lives (Mk 12:17; 1 Cor 6:19-20). We must reflect God's image to the world and enhance His image by the quality of our lives offered for Him.
Coins are circulated throughout the world by normal human activity. Likewise, we who are stamped with God's image are to be in circulation by going out into the world (Mt 28:19) to be salt and light for Jesus (Mt 5:13, 14). Have we been so worn down that God's image is no longer visible to a world that unknowingly longs for Him? Or will we be in "mint condition" for the Lord so that all can see His glory shining in our lives?
Prayer: Jesus, You are my Wealth (Phil 3:8). I spend my entire life in Your service. May all who see me praise You (Mt 5:16).
Promise: "Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands."—Ps 112:1
Praise: St. Norbert did not let becoming an archbishop stop him from living simply and humbly.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 22, 2017
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