On day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, «The Son of Man will be delivered into human hands, and they will kill him. But He will rise on the third day». The Twelve were deeply grieved.
When they returned to Capernaum, the Temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked him, «Does your master pay the temple tax?». He answered, «Certainly». Peter then entered the house, but immediately Jesus asked him, «What do you think, Simon? Who pay taxes or tributes to the kings of the earth: their sons or the other people?». Peter replied, «The others». And Jesus told him, «The sons, then, are tax-free. But so as not to offend these people, go to the sea, throw in a hook and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin in it, take it and let it pay for you and for me».
Jesus is very practical in his approach to life. He doesn’t wish to be neither radical nor revolutionary. For Jesus, the will of the Father (death and resurrection) takes the priority and the rest are secondary. Paying the tax, thus for Jesus is secondary, and willingly oblige to a civil custom, which is still contradictory, but will use this to teach and be a good model in a civil society.
This fixability is very much essential in our daily life. Our master has shown the better way of living in a civil society without troubling others. This civil tranquility does oblige us to do some compromise, which are neither contrary to divine will nor to the commandment of love.
Jesus’ attention in these little things is very important for our daily life. We should give attention to very little things in life, because these little attentions give lot of hope and energy to the weaker section of the society. The society love to give attention to the majority and as baptized, we are called to look after the minority, like the afflicted, immigrated and abandoned in our society. It is here that we can serve God.
Action of the day: Learn to be open and accommodative.
«When they were together in Galilee»
Fr. Joaquim PETIT Llimona, L.C.
Today, the liturgy offers, for us to consider, different possibilities. Amongst these we could, perhaps, stop in something implicit throughout the text: Jesus' familiar attitude with his disciples.
St. Matthew says that Jesus and his disciples «were together in Galilee» (Mt 17:22). Though it is quite evident, the fact the Evangelist deems it necessary to mention it seems to emphasize the nearness of Jesus Christ. Shortly afterwards, Jesus opens His heart to make them aware of his Passion, Death and Resurrection, that is, of something He had been keeping inside himself but He does not want to conceal any longer from those He loves so much. Still further, the text mentions the tax payment episode, and, here too, the Evangelist shows us Jesus' demeanor with them, by placing himself at Peter's level, and counterposing the tax-free sons (Jesus and Peter) to the others, who must pay. Finally, Christ, shows Peter how to get the necessary monies to pay, not only for Him, but for both of them and, thus, avoid any scandal.
In all these traits we may discover a fundamental vision of our Christian life: Jesus' desire to remain with us. In the book of Proverbs the Lord says: «Rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind» (Pr 8:31). Amazing, how this reality may change our approach to our spiritual life where, at times, we only pay attention to what we do, as if that was the most important part of it…! Our interior life must be centered in Christ, in his love for us, in his dying on the Cross for me, in his constant search of our heart. In one meeting with the youth, in Spain, saint John Paul II expressed it very well, when he said, out loud: «Look at Him!».