Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 17,22-27.
As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”
Yes, he said. When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”
What belongs to who it belongs.
1) Grieved: This is the apostles feeling, it is the grief they feel when they know the difficult time that Jesus will pass. It is the same feeling that you feel when you start your week and you know is going to be a difficult one; it is the same grieve you feel when you know that sooner or later you have to take a hard decision, it is when you realized and say “I don’t want to spend my whole life living like this” and you don’t know how to get out . These sorrows that you feel deeply in your heart and do not even let you think right and make you feel like if you are losing something, it is difficult because nobody wants to lose. But I tell you, there is a resurrection.
2) Yes. Pay: something that teaches the social doctrine of the Church is that we have to move from being inhabitants to citizens. Excuse me but you cannot tell me that you go to Mass every Sunday and you don’t respect the traffic laws. A believer must be responsible with his country and his civil obligation. Love your country, take care of it and be a good contributor. Which country you want to leave your children? We all complain but what do we do to make this a better world? We must pray, but also do. You can start today been a good citizen by not throwing papers on the street, it is your street.
3) Scandalize: It is to see the Jesus sound judgement. Today I invite you to be prudently, so you don’t scandalize anybody. Today we live in a world that buys and sells scandals, just take a look at the TV shows and you will see how full of gossip and scandals they are. Look and be cautious in what you say or do. Maybe you are correct in your judgement, Jesus was also right, but do it without scandalize. Be careful because a simple gesture or an act of yours can destroy a life.
May God bless you and be with you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. …and do not forget: Heaven is Our Goal!