TAKE THE DAY OFF AND GO FISHING
Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Scripture Readings: Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28c; Psalm 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14; Matthew 17:22-27
My dear encountered couples:
Some people seem to think money grows on trees. Did Jesus think it comes from fish? Who said he didn’t have a sense of humor! “Peter,” Jesus said, “throw in a line and take out the first fish you catch. Open its mouth and you will discover there a coin worth twice the temple tax. Take it and give it to the tax collectors for you and me.” Do you suppose Peter actually did go and find their tax money in a fish? Or was Jesus just pulling his leg? There must be a point or two to this story.
The tax in question was a temple tax. Maybe it was for money needed for the upkeep and supplies for the temple - like repairs, cleaning, painting, candles, lamp oil, etc. Maybe it was for the needy. Whatever! A point Jesus seems to be making is that as the Son of God he was exempt from temple taxes.
“Peter. What is your opinion? Do the kings of the world take tax or toll from their sons, or from foreigners?” When Peter replied, “From foreigners,” Jesus said: “Then their sons are exempt. But for fear of disedifying anybody go to the lake, throw in a line, and take out the first fish you catch. Open its mouth and you will discover there a coin worth twice the temple tax. Take it and give it to them for you and me.”
You and I are sons and daughters of God. That entitles us to special privileges, not necessarily in this life, in the next one. Like Jesus we are to fulfill all the obligations of normal human living while we are here. Children of God are to be good members and citizens of both church and country. We must pay our dues and taxes.
Shall we take the day off and go fishin’?