Faith Daily | 9 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p570
Grant to us, Lord, we beseech you,
the spirit to think and do always such things as are right,
that we, who cannot do anything that is good without you,
may by you be enabled to live according to your will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 17: 22-27
22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, 23and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.’ And they were greatly distressed.
24 When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?’ 25He said, ‘Yes, he does.’ And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?’ 26When Peter said, ‘From others’, Jesus said to him, ‘Then the children are free. 27However, so that we do not give offence to them, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin;* take that and give it to them for you and me.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: : Alan Dann
Chapter 17 recounts miracles commencing with the Transfiguration on a high mountain in front of Peter, James and John the brother of James. Towards the end of the Chapter Jesus predicts his death and resurrection.
Seemingly unrelated he refers to the Temple Tax. Matthew mentions Taxes several times in his gospel and it is well to remember that he is one of the original twelve, a Jewish man and former tax Collector. He knew about money.
When asked by Peter (the fisherman) if Jesus should pay the tax the curious response is that Jesus “is exempt”. Would the Father collect taxes from his Son? But, following the done thing, he would pay. Where would the money come from? Well why not from another miracle? He commands Peter to go fishing and he would find the required coin, sufficient for two people, in the mouth of the first fish he caught.
That is where the Chapter ends and we are left with an unclear message – what does the miracle mean. Is it just the thought that, in our lives we should be careful not to cause offence? Who knows? It is the only time on record that Jesus goes out of his way not to cause offence – in fact, many times, his actions have been seen to be just the opposite in His dealings with temporal authority. We are left to ponder….
FINAL PRAYER: Celtic Devotional (Adapted Rev’d Sandra)
Bless to us, O God, this day, fresh made.
In the chorus of birds, bless us.
In the scent of wattle blossom, bless us.
In the wet grass and the spring flowers, bless us.
Bless us and heal us
For we come to you in love and trust.
We come to you in expectant hope.
Heal us and your grieving world
of all that harms us.
By the power of your Resurrection
restore us to new life,
set us on new paths,
bring us from darkness to light,
help us to choose hope.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.