DGeMS


Ord. Wk 19th,  Monday, 14th August,2017  (Mt 17:24-27)

Dear Friend in the Lord,

God and Civil Authority: In today’s Gospel, Jesus was asked whether He is to pay the taxes to the authorities.  As members of “God’s family”, they were exempted from paying, yet Jesus opted to pay to avoid scandal.  When we are in "privileged” positions of office, do we serve humbly and put others’ needs before ours?  This is the Christ-like Service we are to render.


Fr Philip Heng, S.J


When Jesus and his disciples reached Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel came to Peter and said, ‘Does your master not pay the half-shekel?’ ‘Yes,’ he replied, and went into the house. But before he could speak, Jesus said, ‘Simon, what is your opinion? From whom do earthly kings take toll or tribute? From their sons or from foreigners?’ 

And when he replied, ‘From foreigners,’ Jesus said, ‘Well then, the sons are exempt. However, so that we shall not be the downfall of others, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that rises, open its mouth and there you will find a shekel; take it and give it to them for me and for yourself.’


TODAY'S POINTERS ON GOD'S WORD
As you read the passage what words, phases or meanings caught your attention?

  • Foreigners and subjects of conquered territory were required to pay taxes to the King. Peter did not want Jesus to get into trouble with the authorities, so without consulting Him, he admitted that Jesus had paid the Temple tax. 

  • Peter’ intentions were good, but Jesus reminded him that being the Son of God in His Father’s Temple, strictly speaking He was exempted from such taxes. However, this might cause problems to them. Thus, Jesus instructed Peter to go fishing to earn enough to pay the taxes. 

  • As Christians we have to abide by the laws of our country as citizens.  The followers of Jesus should obey just laws and support patriotism.