August 13, 2018 – Monday
Gospel: 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."
Many times, we see Jesus confronted with conflicts with the leaders of Israel for standing firmly on what is right. But in today’s gospel, instead of throwing arguments to the tax collectors, Jesus opted to pay the tax to avoid unnecessary offense.
This is what Jesus invites us to practice when faced with unpleasant realities in life– do not offend intentionally and unnecessarily. There are things worth fighting for, but certainly not everything. Today, we are called to choose our battles wisely, but this does not mean opting to engage in a battle where the win is guaranteed. It means discerning which ones are worth fighting for and praying how to deal with it. When we do not know how to pick up our battles, we may end up promoting hatred. Everyone may not be pleased with us and strong situations may piss us off, but Jesus invites us to choose to be kind every day.
Mother Mary, help us to be a bridge of peace – responding to our daily battle with kindness, humility, and love.