We are all very familiar with today's Gospel story. The Pharisees attempt to catch Jesus in a verbal snafu, and end up trapping themselves. They propose to Jesus whether or not it is proper to pay the government tax. Jesus suggests that to each in their proper order, we are responsible to civil and religious authorities. Mostly because this is the world we live in.
But as citizens of the Kingdom must live in such a way that we take responsibility within the community we live, and become a living witness to that ultimate communion of which we are part of. Our response to our brothers and sisters much be perfected by the faith we profess. Within the environment we find ourselves in we are always proclaiming, always bearing witness to the truth which we profess. To be sure our faith calls us to live in a counter-cultural manner, yet drawing members around us into that journey of faith.
Certainly this is what the fathers of Vatican II must have meant when they drafted "The Church in the Modern World." We are not called to be detached, that is a special vocation, but very much part of the communities in which we live. Our faithfulness and desire to be holy does not allow for the brokenness of humanness to distort or mis-direct of lifestyle. Rather as living as faithful witnesses we have the possibility of transforming the world around us. All the while giving to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's
In a very real way we become the leaven in the midst of the rotten dough. Being a faithful steward of the goodness of God can become an inspiration and a source of encouragement. It becomes less of a choice of living in one world or another, and more about the choices of life which we make.