Looking a Gift Fish in the Mouth

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In today's first reading from Deuteronomy 10 Moses encourages the people to keep the commandments and statutes that God had given them for their own good. A point for us to remember - God gives us rules to live by for our own good.

In the Gospel reading from Matthew 17, Peter is asked whether Jesus pays the temple tax. When Peter goes in to see Jesus, Jesus talks about the tax and tells Peter to "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."

I've always wondered about this particular miracle. Why would Jesus do what may appear to be magic trick to pay the tribute? St. Jerome helped clear things up. (I'll paraphrase here.) Jesus owned nothing, had no money. He did not want to use any donations to pay the tribute. In doing this miracle, He showed his power over nature and used money that was purely a gift from God - its source was not from any person or group - to pay the tax.

Father, may we be good stewards of the gifts you have given us and be generous always. Amen.

Today's Readings


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