Daily Reflection – 8/12/19
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.”( Matthew 17:22-27)
By obliging Jesus to pay the tax the tax collectors implied that they considered him a subject or a foreigner. Joined with Jesus’ prediction of his Passion, the scene harkens back the opening of John’s Gospel, “He was in the world and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him” (John 1:10-11). How this must have broken the heart of Christ to find himself unwelcome among those he came to save.
How often do we leave Christ alone in our churches with no one to visit him or acknowledge his presence. How often do our lives – thoughts, words, actions indicate that we really are not temples of Christ’s love? What does it mean to welcome Christ in our life? It must be more than a warm emotion.
Rather it must be opening ourselves to the presence of him who comes to make his home among us and share our lives. We have a God who is so close to us and wants a relationship with us. He wants our time and our attention. Welcoming Christ into our life means recognizing him as our personal Lord — as our master, and our savior. It is his will that must rule in our life and direct our behavior. We must acknowledge that only he has the word of life and we must turn our lives to him in loving obedience. The fruit of this will be interior peace and profound peace.
Our world reflects the human condition. Too often, Christ is refused entry into the world. He is excluded from government, from science, from business, law, and medicine. As followers of Christ, we must bring him and his word of life alive in our lives. We must evaluate the world and its leaders against His words and His life. A world without Christ is a world that knows neither its beginning nor its destiny and will turn against itself.
Prayer of The Day
Jesus, give me courage to make your presence felt in the world around me. Let me not be afraid to show that my faith in you is the center of my life and gives meaning to all I do. Let me give witness of the joy I experience in living by your law in my life.
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 to spark a fire in the heart ad life of someone whose faith is lost or who does not know Jesus Christ.