Death and Taxes

Matthew 17: 22-27. Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time. I will find time tospend with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament today or find a way to give witnessto Christ in the midst of my daily occupations, manifesting my faith publicly.
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Lord God, Ibelieve in your presence here with me as I begin this moment of prayer. I hopein you. I know that you will always take care of me. I want this time with youto be a sign of my love for you. I seek only to please you, without desiringany spiritual consolation for myself.



Lord, help me toacknowledge your greatness with my words and actions.


1. NoTax Loopholes, Not Even for Jesus:

Jesusdraws from Peter the admission that collectors of the Temple Tax did notconsider him the Son of God, and that they did not consider the Temple thehouse of his Father. They therefore thought he was subject to the tax. Ineffect, by obliging him to pay the tax they implied that they considered him asubject or a foreigner. Joined with Jesus’ prediction of his Passion, the sceneharkens back to the line from the opening of John’s Gospel, “He was in theworld and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. Hecame to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him” (John1:10-11). How this must have broken the heart of Christ to find himselfunwelcome among those he came to save. And how often we leave Christ alone inour churches and chapels, with no one to visit him or acknowledge his presencethere.


2. APlace Where Christ Is Welcome:

Whatdoes it mean for us to welcome Christ into our life? It must be more than awarm emotion. Rather it must be opening ourselves to the presence of him whocomes to make his home among us and share our lives. We have a God who is soclose to us and wants a relationship with us. He wants our time and ourattention. Welcoming Christ into our life means recognizing him not as aforeigner who comes from afar to impose himself, but as our personal Lord -- asour master, and our savior. It is his will that must rule in our life anddirect our behavior. We must acknowledge that only he has the word of life and wemust turn our lives to him in loving obedience. The fruit of this will beinterior peace and profound joy.


3. ASociety Without Christ Is Empty and Confused:

Today we see how frequently Christis refused entry into the world, and how frequently he is marginalized by somany of those who have great influence in society and in our culture. He isdeliberately excluded from the world of politics, from the world of science,the arts, of business, law, and medicine. Often he is treated in the media onlywhen it chooses to ridicule him. As followers of Christ, we must bring him andhis word of life back into every sphere of human activity, for a world withoutChrist is a world that knows neither its origin nor its destiny and will turnagainst man himself.


Conversationwith Christ:

Jesus,give me courage to make your presence felt in the world around me. Let me notbe afraid to show that my faith in you is the center of my life and givesmeaning to all I do. Let me give witness of the joy I experience in living byyour law in my life.



I will find time tospend with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament today or find a way to give witnessto Christ in the midst of my daily occupations, manifesting my faith publicly.

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