"death and taxes"
"They were overwhelmed with grief." —Matthew 17:23
In today's Gospel reading, Matthew links together the suffering and death of Jesus and the paying of taxes. Which upsets you more: the suffering and death of Jesus (see Mt 17:22), or opening your tax bill to see a large amount due? Which is more important to you: the large amount of taxes you have to pay, or the large amount of people who close their hearts to Jesus and may die in their sins (Jn 8:21, 24) because no one led them to the One Who can save them from sin?
So many of us receive our tax bill in the mail and are "overwhelmed with grief" or anger (Mt 17:23). Do we get as angry with the pervasive sins of our culture? Are we "overwhelmed with grief" at the many lives Satan steals from the Lord? Are we more preoccupied with our finances, or are we more concerned with what preoccupies the heart of the crucified Jesus, pierced for the salvation of all?
We rage and grieve over our finances because they impact us personally. Yet does the potential that one person might die in sin and be separated from Jesus forever in hell impact us personally? That possibility affected Jesus so personally that He submitted to a hammer and nails. Nonetheless, many Christians don't seem to mind that countless souls might go to hell. Otherwise, our churches, Confession lines, and RCIA programs would be filled. Take Jesus' death personally. Then take many persons to Jesus.
Prayer: Father, transform me by the renewal of my mind (Rm 12:2). Give me the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16).
Promise: "Fear the Lord, your God, and follow His ways exactly, love and serve the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul, keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord which I enjoin on you today for your own good." —Dt 10:12-13
Praise: Still grieving her husband's death, St. Jane, though living with her cantankerous father-in-law, radiated the joy of the Lord.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.