“Repay to Caesar the things are at Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

Jesus cleverly dodges the trap that the Pharisees are trying to set for him. They think Jesus will believe their insincere flattery by saying “We know that you are a truthful man, not concerned with anyone’s opinion or status.” Their hypocrisy is evident when they ask Jesus “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Jesus unmasks their deception by saying “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

We owe God. Our first and foremost commitment is to God alone. As baptized and confirmed Catholics, we must put God first in our lives. First give God the glory. We do this by daily prayer, receiving the Sacraments, and keeping the Commandments. God should be our first priority and building His Kingdom is our first responsibility. Trying to do God’s will in all things is the way we exercise our citizenship in the Kingdom of God.

As Christians we are also citizens of whatever country we live in. As Americans we must carry out our civic responsibilities. Our most important civic responsibility is to exercise our right to vote. In seventeen days we will vote not only in the presidential election, but here in Louisiana we will elect a senator, a congressmen, a mayor, judges, city council members and seven amendments to the State Constitution. Early voting has already begun and record turnout is expected. In some parts of our country, people have waited eight to ten hours to vote. It wasn’t too long ago the Black people were systematically denied the right to vote and today voter suppression is being carried out to make it more difficult to exercise that right. There is no excuse not to vote.

Yesterday we had the Public Rosary Crusade. The banner is on the side wall of our church. It says “Praying the Rosary for America. As human efforts fail to solve America’s key problems, we turn to God through his holy Mother, asking her urgent help.” We are also praying the rosary each morning at 5 AM leading up to the election. We pray each day that we will elect good leaders who will help us work together to solve the many challenges facing our nation and state.

We want to congratulate Kristen Gradney on receiving the Alumni Healthcare Hero Award from the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University. Kristen is senior director of operations at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health and supports Health Centers in Schools and Goodwood Pediatric Clinics.

We also want to thank the Josephites for a grant of $10,000 to our school during this our Centennial year. We pray for all the sick and those who have died. May they Rest In Peace.