Monday 19th Week of the Year
Let us never underestimate the impact that our actions can have on another person.
We have two scenes in today’s gospel that seem unrelated –
the second prediction of Jesus Passion
and the miraculous way Peter paid the temple tax.
It seems that these two have nothing to do with each other.
Jesus makes the point that citizens don’t pay taxes, only foreigners do.
Jesus is God’s only Begotten Son, and of all people,
he is exempt from the temple tax.
But Jesus is also exempt from all sin
and yet chooses to go to the Cross in our place.
He is not only paying the temple tax
but paying with his life for our sins.
No one can get around paying their taxes,
but Jesus found a way for us to get around paying for our sins.
Jesus doesn’t get into a discussion
that he doesn’t have to pay the temple tax.
He simply pays it from a fish
to keep his honor as God’s Only Son
and not to cause scandal by not paying it.
People are more likely to come to faith
when they see our faith in action.
Remember the soldier’s declaration of faith
when he saw Jesus die on the Cross?
“Truly this is the Son of God.”
Very truly, our actions are much more convicting than our words.
We never know who is watching us
and how the Holy Spirit will work
in the ordinary events of our lives.
Our words and actions receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit
when we speak and act out of love.
May something we say and do today
spark a fire in the heart of someone
whose faith is like a smoldering wick or a bruised reed.
And when it’s difficult to do that,
let us take the lead that Jesus gives us –
he paid the temple tax and went to the cross when he didn’t have to.