9 Aug Mon, 19th Week in Ordinary Time. St Teresa Benedicts of the Cross

8/8/2021 8:38:57 AM
Deut. 10:12-22 / Ps. 147:12-13,14-15,19-20 / Mt 17:22-27 (Ps Wk III)

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The Gospel reading focuses on the conversation between the tax collector and Peter (Mt. 24-25a) and between Jesus and Peter (vv 25-27). Firstly, the half-shekel tax was paid annually by all adult males between 20-50 years of age to support the Temple and its services (Ex. 30:11-16).

In Jesus' time, some priests argued that they were free from tax, while the monks of Qumran wanted to pay only once in their lifetime. In this context, some tax collectors approached Peter and asked if Jesus paid the Temple tax. Then Jesus confronted Peter with the parable (vs. 25-26) on the liability of the sons of earthly kings. From this, it was concluded that Jesus, the son of God, was not obliged to pay taxes for God's temple. However, to avoid 'offending' the Romans, he took the shekel in the fish's mouth to pay the tax for both of them.

Today, as citizens of our country, we are obliged to pay tax too. As local church members, we are obliged to support our Church in whatever ways we can. We are responsible for the maintenance and growth of our Christian community or BECs.

In today's first reading, we are reminded of our responsibility towards those around us who need our help. This is referred to as a 'circumcision of the heart' and obedience to God's commandments. We know and believe that it is "Yahweh who sees justice...".

"Jesus, thank You for showing us the way to be Your true followers and to remain responsible citizens of our country."   

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8月9日 ( 一 ) 常年期第十九週

申命紀 10:12-22
聖詠 147[146,147]:12-13,14-15,19-20
瑪竇福音 17:22-27

敬畏上主是以色列聽到的教導,也是聖神七恩之一。基督徒為了表達對天主的敬畏,首先要意識到天主的榮耀和美善,並感到驚奇和嚮往。基督徒對天主的渴望應該就像孩子對父母的依靠,不願意遠離天主,不想違背天主的誡命,反而全心全靈地事奉祂,愛祂。基督徒在這個愈來愈世俗化、缺少宗教氛圍的社會中,首先要有敬畏天主的心態,然後才能在生活和工作中,在這個世界上傳播信仰的種子,散發愛德的光輝。

就如天主曾經揀選了以色列在多神的世界中,為祂作證;天主也揀選了基督徒在當今的世界上為祂作證。天主邀請他們將心轉向祂,拒絕世界的腐敗和墮落,積極地主持正義,為孤兒、寡婦、外方人……這些需要照顧的人爭取支援,而不是冷漠地忽視他們。然而,這樣的工作並非輕而易舉,有時甚至充滿艱險。主耶穌就是敬畏上主的最佳榜樣,祂深知天父的心意,並按天父的心意生活,也願意為此獻出生命。

主耶穌,求祢教導我如何敬畏天父。

(theology.org.hk)
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