One Minute Reflection – 9 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart” – The Memorial of St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859) – Readings: Deuteronomy 10: 12-22; Psalm 147: 12-15, 19-20; Matthew 17: 22-27
“But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you …” – Matthew 17:27.
REFLECTION – “This coin was not in Jesus’ house but happened to be in the mouth of a fish in the sea. This too, I think, was a result of God’s kindness. It was caught and came up on the hook belonging to Peter, who was the fisher of men. That which is figuratively called a fish was caught, in order that the coin, with the image of Caesar, might be taken from it, that it might take its place among those which were caught by them who have learned to become fishers of men. Let him, then, who has the things of Caesar render them to Caesar, that afterwards he may be able to render to God the things of God.
But since Jesus is the image of God the unseen and did not have the image of Caesar (for there was nothing in Him that had anything to do with the prince of this world), He, therefore, took the image of Caesar from a suitable place, in the sea, so as to pay it to the kings of the earth, as the contribution of Himself and His disciple. Jesus did this so that those, taking the half-shekel, might not suppose Jesus to be in debt either to them, or to the kings of the earth. For He paid the debt, one He had never taken on, or possessed, or used to buy anything, or made His personal possession, to prevent the image of Caesar ever being alongside the image of the invisible God” – Origen Adamantius of Alexandria (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father – Commentary on Matthew.
PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, by Your grace, St John Vianney was remarkable for his zeal as priest and shepherd. Help us, by his example and prayers, to win our brethren for Christ by our love and to share with them in eternal glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.