Jesus confirms He is the Divine King and His followers are adopted sons of God. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Generosity so he can frequently make sacrifices to give to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can use his reason to consistently battle against evil in his life. 

Liturgy

19th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Mt 17:22-27

Commentary

Following the powerful experience of the Transfiguration, Jesus rebukes the disciples for their lack of faith and urges them to take the first small steps of faith, starting with a faith as tiny as a mustard seed. Jesus now bluntly reveals that He will be killed but will miraculously rise from the dead. Showing that they continue to lack faith in Him, the disciples are “greatly distressed” at Jesus’ blessed revelation. 

Affirming Peter’s primacy as Jesus’ lead Apostle, the men collecting the temple tax approach Peter for payment and Peter answers on Jesus’ behalf.  The meaning of Jesus’ later question to Simon-Peter is distorted in some bible translations due to inaccurate sex-neutral language.  An accurate translation (RSVCE2, ESVCE) of verses 25-26 reveals a powerful truth:  “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then, the sons are free.”  With the accurate translation, Jesus reaffirms important truths: the Divine Patriarchy of Kingship (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); His deliberate establishment of the patriarchy (rule by men) of His Holy Catholic Church; the specific call to men to be adopted sons and princes in Christ’s Kingdom; the freedom of Christ’s sons from the ritual practice of the Old Covenant; Christ’s specific call to greatness for His men by considering themselves, as “royalty.”  

After instructing Peter with the truth about paying the Temple Tax (Jesus’ followers are exempt, for they are His sons), Jesus demonstrates to Peter the need to be savvy with evangelization; in this case, to avoid conflict in the short term by simply paying the Temple Tax. To ensure Peter remembers, and perhaps to actually have the money to pay the tax, Jesus performs a small miracle by materializing a coin in a fish’s mouth. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be strengthened in mission by Jesus, the Divine King, as He establishes His Holy Catholic Church on the Divine Patriarchy and Headship of Men: with the perfection of Knowledge and Prudence, Jesus Christ does not make mistakes and purposefully establishes His Kingdom on the sure foundation of Patriarchy (the rule of men) and the Headship of Men. 

Sacrifice and be generous to the Church

Realize: In sad contrast to Jesus’ deliberate demonstration of the importance of financially supporting the Temple, many Catholic men fail to follow His example and the Precept of the Church which obligates every Catholic man to financially support the Church in accordance with his means; sadly, many parishes and Catholic schools struggle because Catholic men do not give generously. 

Believe: Review the obligation for men to Financially Support the Church (CCC 1350-1351, 1438, 2043).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Generosity (a part of Justice) so I joyfully sacrifice non-necessities and generously give money to support my parish, Catholic schools and Your Holy Catholic Church. 

Practice prudence in battling against evil

Realize: Today, while a Catholic man can be overwhelmed with anger and continually lash out at the increasingly evil modern culture and the direct attacks and insults against Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church, Jesus demonstrates Divine Prudence as He calmly chooses when and how He fights against evil. 

Believe: Reflect upon Prudence (CCC 1788, 1805-1806, 1835, 2104).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I always remain open to Christ’s guidance when confronted with evil, I thoughtfully assess situations, and I shrewdly choose when and how to battle against evil, and when not to act.