August 12, Monday Weekday
Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. — Psalm 147:12
Mass Readings: Deuteronomy 10:12-22/Matthew 17:22-27
Taxes and Scandal
The Book of Matthew collects materials from several decades of the Church. Today’s passage probably dates to an early time, when virtually all members of Matthew’s Church were Jewish Christians. Prior to the Romans’ destruction of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70, male Jews were obliged to make an annual contribution to its upkeep. Later, the Romans kept the tax but diverted the funds to the upkeep of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome.
In today’s reading, although God’s subjects (literally “sons”) are exempt from taxation, in order to avoid scandal the tax is paid. The surprising miracle of the fish with a coin in its mouth shouldn’t distract us from the lesson on the avoidance of unnecessary scandal.
Prayer: Lord, help me to faithfully discharge my obligations to You and to society.
Courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor: http://www.osv.com/tabid/7627/itemid/11041/August-12-Monday-Weekday.aspx