19th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Monday 9th August 2021

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St Teresa Benedicts of the Cross

19th Week in Ordinary Time (B) : Monday 9th August 2021

Deut. 10:12-22; Ps. 147:12-13,14-15,19-20;
Mt 17:22-27 (Ps Wk III)

The Gospel reading focuses on the conversation between the tax collector and Peter (Mt. 24-25a) and between Jesus and Peter (vv 25-27). Firstly, the half-shekel tax was paid annually by all adult males between 20-50 years of age to support the Temple and its services (Ex. 30:11-16).

In Jesus’ time, some priests argued that they were free from tax, while the monks of Qumran wanted to pay only once in their lifetime. In this context, some tax collectors approached Peter and asked if Jesus paid the Temple tax. Then Jesus confronted Peter with the parable (vs. 25-26) on the liability of the sons of earthly kings. From this, it was concluded that Jesus, the son of God, was not obliged to pay taxes for God’s temple. However, to avoid ‘offending’ the Romans, he took the shekel in the fish’s mouth to pay the tax for both of them.

Today, as citizens of our country, we are obliged to pay tax too. As local church members, we are obliged to support our Church in whatever ways we can. We are responsible for the maintenance and growth of our Christian community or BECs.

In today’s first reading, we are reminded of our responsibility towards those around us who need our help. This is referred to as a ‘circumcision of the heart’ and obedience to God’s commandments. We know and believe that it is “Yahweh who sees justice…”.

“Jesus, thank You for showing us the way to be Your true followers and to remain responsible citizens of our country.”

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