YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 19TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: BE LIKE JESUS; JUST ALLOW PEACE TO REIGN.
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offence to them, go to the sea and cast a hook…” (Matthew 17:26-27)
One way to define the term “war” is: what happens when two people believe they are both right and each insists the other party is wrong. From small domestic battles, arguments over football, disagreements about who is to blame in politics, even to full-scale battles between nations, the square root of all fights is the refusal of any side to admit they are wrong.
Was Jesus supposed to pay tax? Imagine, how can God pay tax? By the way, which work was Jesus doing? At this time, Jesus had left his carpentry workshop and was moving about from place to place preaching. Jesus even made Peter and the other disciple abandon their regular jobs to follow him. So what was Jesus’ business with the issue of tax?
Now let’s consider the mood in which Jesus was when the issue of tax came up. Matthew reports that Jesus had just announced to his disciples how he would suffer and be killed on the third day “and they were greatly distressed.” Matthew 17:23. To put it softly, both Jesus and the disciples were unhappy. It was in this frame that the tax collectors met Peter demanding for tax.
As soon as Peter got home, Jesus was the first to speak and there is something he said which we need to ponder upon. “However, not to give offence…” Jesus said something similar when John the Baptist was about to baptize him: “to fulfil all righteousness.” This is a lesson we have to learn from Jesus, that, even when we are right, we could still act so as to not to give offence.
There is an extent that our pursuit of justice becomes a vice. Sometimes, it is best to shift ground. What will it profit you if you destroy the whole world just to prove you are right? Be like Jesus; allow peace to reign.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to understand before seeking to be understood, may I become an agent of your peace to the world. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Bible Study: Ez 1:2-5, 24-28c/Mt 17:22-27).