Jesus, Peter and the Temple Tax

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday
Of The Nineteenth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 17:22-27

This was not the first time Jesus is telling his disciples of his impending death.  This time he is more specific and making them aware that someone is going to hand him over into the hands of men to be killed and after 3 days he would rise again.  The disciples were distressed hearing the word “kill” but did not really understand what Jesus was trying to tell them.  They must have been wondering that who could kill a person who could do so many miracles and even raise the dead to life.

Immediately the next subject on taxes comes into discussion when Peter is questioned about Jesus paying his own tax.  Jesus knowing the dilemma going on in Peter’s mind explains to him that if the son’s of the kings are not bound to pay taxes, then Jesus being the Son of the Almighty Father is exempt from paying taxes to any kings.  But to avoid any further controversy, he asks Peter to get the coin from the mouth of the first fish he catches and pays the tax for both.

Peter was a fisherman by profession and for sure all his life he must have not found a coin in the fish’s mouth.  But when Jesus asks him to go and get the coin from the fish’s mouth, he does not doubt him nor question him, he just trusts his word and obeys him.  

Let us reflect on the above passage and trust in the word of the Lord and follow his instruction in our daily life.  Lord, help us to have faith in you and at the same time pay our dues to Government and other authorities as per the rule of the land without compromising our values.

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