Give to God His Due

A conversation on making the right choice using the famous Jesus quote, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

In a close-knit West African village, a woman finds herself contemplating a divorce from her husband for various reasons. Divorce is a rarity in this village, and marriage is a community affair in most parts of Africa. Thus, the village leaders and elders are called upon to mediate the conflict. The man, unfortunately, is neither loved nor respected by the villagers.

As the negotiation reaches a standstill, the woman, burdened with the weight of her unsupportive marriage, is forced to make a difficult decision. Being the family’s breadwinner, she is granted the right to choose what she wants to take from their home and family as she divorces her husband. Whatever remains will belong to the husband. The husband agrees to the terms of the divorce.

The woman chooses to have custody of their two children, their house in the city where they live, and their business, which belongs to her since she started it with her hard-earned money.

When it is the husband’s turn to claim what remains, his response defies all expectations. He declares, “I choose nothing. I choose you, my wife.” This unexpected news leaves everyone, including the village leaders, in awe. The woman sees it as a green light, a renewed attempt to love again. Making the right choice.

Making the Right Choice

This instructive story beautifully illustrates the significance of making the right choice and understanding what truly matters in life. It is not that the woman didn’t make the best choice for herself; the desperate, unsupportive man knew what could save his marriage relationship and give him a second chance to love and be loved. It also resonates with the profound words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”

The biblical quote above reminds us of our dual responsibilities in the world and our spiritual journey. Caesar, a symbol of political and worldly affairs, requires our civic duties. We pay taxes so society can have the necessary resources for basic amenities. We cast our votes during elections so we can choose who leads us. Respect for traffic rules and city, county, state, and national regulations is for the common good. Most importantly, we are responsible for keeping all these when they do not oppose God’s law.

In the case of God, our invitation isn’t to give just stuff. What belongs to God isn’t our stuff—God demands our lives in totality because life is a gift from Him. We are His, the children of His heavenly household. God’s invitation is for us to worship Him. The Holy Eucharist is the supreme ritual for this worship, and our life ( and all we are and have) is a gift we offer God through Christ.

Giving God His Due

As we begin each day and retire at night, are we truly giving God what belongs to Him, our life as an act of worship? Do we willingly offer Him our time, talent, and treasure? Most importantly, do we value the treasure of aligning our lives with God’s will and understanding that His plan, no matter how challenging, is always the best for us?

I’m praying for the grace of total surrender to the will of God. Amen.

God love you. God bless you.

Fr. Maurice Emelu

[Tuesday Week 9 Ordinary Time I: 2 Peter 3:12-15a, 17-18; Mk 12:13-17]

Fr. Maurice Emelu

Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Orlu in Nigeria and the Founder of Gratia Vobis Ministries. An assistant professor of communication (digital media) at John Carroll University, USA, Father Maurice is also a theologian, media strategist, and digital media academic whose numerous works appear on television networks such as EWTN. As he likes to describe himself; “I am an African priest passionately in love with Christ and his Church.”


  1. Jerry DEMELO Jr on June 4, 2024 at 11:27 am

    Thank you. Very nice. To Caeser we give performance of our obligations to each other in society – a love of neighbor metaphor. To God in covenant we give our very person -we give ourselves in accordance with the greatest commandment to love God with all our heart soul strength and mind. so it seems that the test of the coin, is not a paradox that Jesus would lose either way with his answer, but an ability to illustrate the greatest commandment and the second one which is like it

  2. Nancy J Coffey on June 4, 2024 at 10:45 am

    Thank you for sharing your faith. May God always bless you 🙏 Amen

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