Paying Taxes to the Emperor – Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Lesson Overview

This week’s Gospel passage focuses on submission to civil authority. Jesus declares that we are to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. In this lesson, students will reflect on how they are called to obey God first and above everything else but are also called to obey civil authorities and practice the virtue of faithful citizenship.

Lesson Materials


  1. Have your students read the Gospel passage, or read it aloud to your students, and then answer the focus questions.
  2. Review and discuss the answers when they have completed the focus questions.
  3. Have students reread the Gospel along with the Catechism paragraphs on The Church’s Teaching on Virtuous Citizens, and then respond to the prompt in a 1-3 paragraph essay.

Answer Key

Focus Questions

  1. The Pharisees are plotting to entrap Jesus in speech.
  2. They ask if it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not.
  3. He calls them hypocrites because He knows their malice.
  4. He asks the Pharisees to show Him the coin they use to pay the census tax.
  5. The coin bears the image and inscription of Caesar.
  6. Jesus tells them to “repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.

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