ST DOMINIC, P (Memorial) White
Dominic founded the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1215, a group who lived a simple, austere life, and an order of nuns dedicated to the care of young girls. When Dominic’s mother was pregnant with him, she had a dream that her unborn son was a dog carrying a torch in its mouth lighting up the world. A dog bearing a torch in its mouth became the symbol of the Dominicans. When Dominic had some challenges in his pastoral work, our Lady in a vision asked him to pray the rosary. With the prayers of the rosary, he thrived as a pastor.
First Reading: Ezk 1:2-5. 24-28c; Psalm: 148 ; Gospel: Mt 17:22-27
JESUS OUR PERFECT MODEL
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
When Peter was asked by a tax collector if Jesus was faithful in paying the half-shekel tax, Peter answered in the affirmative. According to Exodus 30:13, every male Jew over twenty years of age must pay this tax yearly for the maintenance of the temple. A moment later, when Jesus was alone with Peter, he asked him “From whom do the kings of the earth take tax or tribute? From their sons or from others? Peter answered, “From others.” And Jesus said to him “Then the sons are free.”
There was a reason for this question from Jesus. As Peter rightly answered, no king collects taxes from his household when he imposes taxes on his nation. The half-shekel tax in question was for the maintenance of the temple which is the house of God. Jesus is the Son of God; and by Peter’s answer, Jesus shouldn’t be paying this tax but others. It was for this reason that Jesus said to Peter “Then the sons are free.” But even though Jesus should evidently be exempted from paying this temple tax, he sent Peter to make payment for the both of them so as not to offend the tax officers or show bad example to others.
Jesus is a perfect model of all time. We learn from him today to avoid claiming some exemptions in life especially those in positions of authority. A good leader should lead by example. Sometime ago, the former British Prime Minister David Cameron was pictured journeying on a metro train. He was standing because there was no vacant seat left. A young lady on this same train who later discovered who he was expressed surprise. She told him that this would not happen in her country where leaders bully their own people. Our humility will always be tested by the events of life. How humble are we to comply with a rule that we can overrule? We can learn from Jesus today. If not for anything, at least for the sake of setting good example.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, teach us humility and obedience amidst the pride and intimidation in our world. Amen.
Uche Edah Philip