The Temple Tax

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Today’s first reading is from the opening chapter of Ezekiel. Here, Ezekiel has a vision of heaven. He describes things that we would understand. I’m pretty sure that heaven is indescribable, but that we may have a tiny glimpse, God showed Ezekiel things that would seem familiar to us. Today’s Gospel reading includes an interesting exchange between Jesus and Peter, and what had to be one of Jesus’ coolest miracles.

Jesus asks Peter from whom the kings of the earth take taxes. From their own subjects or from foreigners? Peter says, “From foreigners.” Jesus replies, “Then the subjects are exempt.” He then tells Peter how he can find enough to pay the temple tax. So what does this exchange mean? Jesus knew that he didn’t need to pay the temple tax because He was one of God’s subjects. Kings only took these tolls from foreigners. But Jesus was no foreigner to the Father. Therefore, He would have been exempt from the temple tax.

Jesus knew his place. He continually introduced the people to His Father. He talked again and again in familial terms. We are no strangers to God. We are not foreigners in His Kingdom. We are, as St. Paul says, fellow citizens with the holy ones. This is the message Jesus was trying to get across in today’s exchange. So don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you’re not a part of the Kingdom…a part of the family!

Father, we thank you for allowing us to be subjects of the King, and members of the family. Help us to invite others to join in! Amen.

Today’s Readings


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