Bring me a denarius to look at.
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God. – Mark 12.16 – 17
In this unforgettable teaching moment, Jesus answers a question with a question. The question he was asked was about paying taxes. The question Jesus asks is whose image is on the coin?
Implied, but unspoken, is an even deeper question: Whose image is on me? Whose or what image do I bear? The astounding answer – rooted in Jesus’ own Judaism and personal experience – is God’s image! Human beings bear the imprint-image of Creator Spirit-God, and similarly, belong to and with this Source of Love.
The essential quality of being image-bearers, for one and all of us, is a core of goodness. It is sometimes difficult to see this goodness in our self and in others, but it is always there. Sitting in the silence of Centering Prayer is a gentle way of reconnecting with this core of goodness, little by little, day by day.
We can come up with many excuses to deny or forget our core of goodness. We might assume someone else is good, not me. The mind fools us into thinking we are separate from the goodness imprinted within our essential being. Remember, the goodness is reflected. It is imprinted from the Source of Goodness, Truth and Beauty. In a certain, freeing sense, you core of goodness has nothing to do with you!We just get to bear it to the fullest, joyfully and gratefully. So enjoy being you!
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