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19th Week Monday -Reflections

19th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 13-08-18
Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28 / Matthew 17:22-27

  When we read the gospels and reflect on it deeper, especially on the things that Jesus did, we may wonder why He did what He did, especially since He is the Son of God.

 He seemed so much more human than He was divine.
He didn't have to be born in a stable, yet He did.
He didn't have to work as a carpenter, yet He did.
He didn't have to wash His disciples' feet, yet He did.
He didn't have to die on the cross, yet He did.

  But did He have to pay the half-shekel? Well, to begin with, the half-shekel was for the upkeep of the Temple and also for the upkeep of the priestly services.

 So Jesus had to pay the half-shekel, and He indeed did pay that Temple tax from the coin that was in the mouth of the fish that Peter caught. 

 But He also revealed a bit about His true identity when He said that kings collect tax from foreigners and not from their own sons. 

 In doing this, Jesus taught us a lesson on humility and obedience. 

 He is the Son of God, He is Lord and Saviour, He is Master, He is Teacher. 

 Yet He humbled Himself and took the form of a servant and became obedient even until death, and death on the cross (Phil 2:7-8)

 In life we may be pushed to pay many "half-shekels" that we are not obliged to do so. 

 Somebody's work may end up on our desk; we may be stuck with a dirty thankless task; we may take the rap for someone else's mistake. 

 But let us be humble and obedient just like Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. 

 And we will be repaid a hundred fold with God's love and more so, in the eternal feast of heaven as His children around His table.

Tilapia is one of the three main types of fish caught in Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee. At that time they were called musht, or commonly now even "St. Peter's fish".  

The name "St. Peter's fish" comes from the story in the Gospel of Matthew about the apostle Peter catching a fish that carried a coin in its mouth, though the passage does not name the fish. 

And if we go on a tour to the Sea of Galilee, then one of the items in the itinerary would be a meal of the fish at one of the restaurants by the Sea of Galilee. 

It is a common fish, but it became the means of solving a sticky problem between the tax-collectors and Jesus, with Peter being stuck in the middle.  

The fish that he caught that had a coin in its mouth resolved the problem. It was so ordinary and yet so amazing. 

Whereas the vision of Ezekiel in the 1st reading was so astounding and awesome with the glory of the Lord shown in majesty and splendour.

But for most of us living an ordinary life and being ordinary people, that kind of vision would be almost out of the question.

 Yet God will still reveal Himself in the ordinary situations in our lives and in the ordinary people around us. 

So when we meet with a problem, let us remember that it was a fish that solved the problem for Peter.
 And God will give the solution to our problems through very ordinary things.