Ps 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20;
Mt 17: 22-27
GOD’S GRACE IS ALWAYS AT WORK WITH US, WE JUST NEED TO COOPERATE
God always knows what we need in life. He knows our struggles and doubts. At times, He is silent so as to draw us deeper through intentional prayer and acts of faith. And at times, we suddenly find that we receive a new clarity in life that is the result of his grace at work. Jesus knew that peter needed this extra grace of this personal miracle so that he could move beyond his fears and struggles and place all of his trust in Jesus.
In the first reading, the words of Moses urge the Israelites to recall the great deeds God has done for them and to turn to the Lord instead of being stiff-necked. Moses tells the people that they have not always been open to God’s gifts and they have hardened their hearts to God’s movement.
They need to circumcise their hearts; that is, be open to what God has done and is doing for them. If they reflect on the blessings they have received from God, they will be able to continue to receive God’s favour. In their remembering, they are told to recall they were once aliens and so they should treat aliens with care and compassion. This is something we should remember as Christians also, as we encounter aliens in our midst. Are we really ready and willing to befriend strangers to the point of inconveniencing ourselves and to love foreigners as the lord enjoins us in Deuteronomy?
In today’s gospel, two things comes out clearly;
In the gospel today the temple tax collectors asked the Lord to pay his tax. Jesus after a discussion with His disciples concluded that they are not under strict obligation to pay the tax but He still tells peter to get a fish to pay their taxes. He showed that he was responsible to contribute to the support of the temple. Jesus could have easily evaded this tax by flaunting some of the wonderful things he had been doing. He could have also asked Matthew, since he was a former tax collector, go and see some of the “big fish” at the tax office to exempt them from paying taxes. He chose to be responsible. Let us also choose to be responsible in all our duties.
There are many people who follow itinerant or Tv preachers who claim to be miracle workers. These followers have either become so blind to the miracles in their lives each day or they have taken them for granted.
Miracles are being worked in the eyes of our hearts every day. Jesus told peter to go and catch a fish and he will find a coin in the mouth of the first fish he will catch which will be enough to pay for the taxes. For many, this is a miracle. However, if Jesus were to say to the disciples: “”let’s go to the lake, do some fishing all night, sell and use the proceeds to pay our taxes,” this couldn’t be a miracle.
Dear people of God, God performs miracles in our lives every day. The problem is that we often fail to discern them. Any time his glorious power works within us to strengthen us or fills us with courage, hope, charity and every other virtue, this is a miracle of transforming grace. My dear Christians, Let us begin to see the miracles in our life each day. When you wake up in the morning, look into the mirror and you will see the wonderful work of art; a miracle. That miracle is you.
Today’s gospel invites us to examine our generosity towards our church, how generous are we in giving to our church? For example during holy mass, how generous are we during offertory? Are we faithful in our tithes? Do we give an amount that will hurt our pockets or we give out from our spare or crumbs?
Today we are encouraged to always give generously for whatever we give generously to the church the good Lord will give back to us a hundredfold. We can never out give God for the more that we give him the more we will receive from him.
Be patient, sometimes you may have to go through the worst to get the best.