Death, Taxes… and More!

Memorial of St. Pontian, Pope and St. Hippolytus, Presbyter, Martyrs

People say there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. The Gospel reading for yesterday’s Mass (Matthew 17:22-27) spoke of both. Jesus made another prediction of his suffering, death and resurrection. In an effort to avoid even the appearance of a scandal that would discredit his ministry, so he ordered Peter to go fishing and pay the temple tax with a miraculous bonus catch.

Thankfully, there are more certainties in life than death and taxes. Yesterday’s first reading (Deuteronomy 10:12-22) reminded us of another abiding truth: God's love for his people. Moses reminded the people of Israel that their almighty God chose them in a spirit of love. God turned a small group of 70 who entered Egypt into a great nation. We are among their descendants.

How do we respond to God's great love and generosity? As Moses told our ancestors in faith:  We love God with all our heart and soul. We circumcise our hearts in a spirit of continuous conversion. We become friends with immigrants. We give them hospitality, love and respect.

These are ancient lessons. Today’s headlines remind us that, as a nation, we are still trying to learn them. –JC