Jesus said they could both pay temple tax, but what did that mean for the faith?
Jesus told Peter to go catch a fish, and in its mouth he would find shekel; enough money for them both to pay the temple tax. This scenario is not as far-fetched as it sounds: the fish in that area are often drawn to shiny things and carry them around in their mouths, so it is possible Peter could have found a fish holding the coin they needed.
However, this presented a conflict: could one be faithful to Christ and still pay the temple tax? Good citizens are responsible for supporting their faith, and also their government. This taxation on faith strained the relationship between the two, but as long as we follow Jesus’s teachings, doing the right thing will come first.
Who do we work harder to obey: society or the Lord? How do our actions build up what we believe in?
We pray for every family to be faithful and trust in God, even when societies’ demands conflict with what is just and honorable.
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.