Reflection on the Daily Readings for 8/10/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture for Monday, August 10, 2009. Deuteronomy 10:12-22. Psalm 147:12-13.14-15.19-20. Matthew 17:22-27.
Amazing! We learn in today’s Gospel that even Jesus and Peter pay taxes. Peter is the one who lets us know about this through responding to the questioners who ask whether Jesus’ pays the Romans their tax. Of course, we see that there is a solution that would be equivalent to winning one of those scratch off lottery tickets that amount to enough to pay our taxes. We probably cannot count on that happening to us so we realize that taxes have to be paid. It is interesting that taxes are combined with a fish story! We see how Jesus is wise and how Peter is a good fisherman. Jesus’ wisdom and Peter’s counsel are the good virtues we learn from the incident. Peace and honesty result in what transpires in this narrative. Sometimes these ordinary virtues really pay off in our dealings with one another. Patience is a great virtue that our culture needs. Patient endurance is not only the trait of fishermen. It is a biblical virtue that carries through most of the books of the Bible. The Gospel message again is one of integration and honesty in our relationships. Listening is of great importance. Peter did this while asking for the solution to the question he was asked. He listened and found a good response to the questioners who had other motive at work in their questions. The narrative leads us to go deeper into our call to follow Jesus as disciples. The ordinary lessons in life are not to be passed by while we do go deeper into our journey of a faith commitment. Even Jesus paid attention to them and gave us some good positive healthy advice about how to relate to political questions. And God’s taxes for us are the cultivation of the simple virtues of honesty, patience, listening, and counsel. Amen.