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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Monday 19th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Ezek 1:2-5.24—2:1): On the fifth day of the fourth month of the fifth year, that is, of King Jehoiachin's exile, the word of the Lord came to the priest Ezekiel, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.—There the hand of the Lord came upon me. As I looked, a stormwind came from the North, a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness, from the midst of which (the midst of the fire) something gleamed like electrum. Within it were figures resembling four living creatures that looked like this: their form was human.

Then I heard the sound of their wings, like the roaring of mighty waters, like the voice of the Almighty. When they moved, the sound of the tumult was like the din of an army. And when they stood still, they lowered their wings. Above the firmament over their heads something like a throne could be seen, looking like sapphire. Upon it was seated, up above, one who had the appearance of a man. Upward from what resembled his waist I saw what gleamed like electrum; downward from what resembled his waist I saw what looked like fire; he was surrounded with splendor. Like the bow which appears in the clouds on a rainy day was the splendor that surrounded him. Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: 148
R/. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights; praise him, all you his angels; praise him, all you his hosts.

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples, the princes and all the judges of the earth, young men too, and maidens, old men and boys.

Praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.

And he has lifted up the horn of his people. Be this his praise from all his faithful ones, from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Thess 2:13): Alleluia. God has called you through the Gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 17,22-27): On day when they were together in Galilee, Jesus said to his disciples, «The Son of Man will be delivered into human hands, and they will kill him. But He will rise on the third day». The Twelve were deeply grieved.

When they returned to Capernaum, the Temple tax collectors came to Peter and asked him, «Does your master pay the temple tax?». He answered, «Certainly». Peter then entered the house, but immediately Jesus asked him, «What do you think, Simon? Who pay taxes or tributes to the kings of the earth: their sons or the other people?». Peter replied, «The others». And Jesus told him, «The sons, then, are tax-free. But so as not to offend these people, go to the sea, throw in a hook and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin in it, take it and let it pay for you and for me».

«When they were together in Galilee»

Fr. Joaquim PETIT Llimona, L.C.
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the liturgy offers, for us to consider, different possibilities. Amongst these we could, perhaps, stop in something implicit throughout the text: Jesus' familiar attitude with his disciples.

St. Matthew says that Jesus and his disciples «were together in Galilee» (Mt 17:22). Though it is quite evident, the fact the Evangelist deems it necessary to mention it seems to emphasize the nearness of Jesus Christ. Shortly afterwards, Jesus opens His heart to make them aware of his Passion, Death and Resurrection, that is, of something He had been keeping inside himself but He does not want to conceal any longer from those He loves so much. Still further, the text mentions the tax payment episode, and, here too, the Evangelist shows us Jesus' demeanor with them, by placing himself at Peter's level, and counterposing the tax-free sons (Jesus and Peter) to the others, who must pay. Finally, Christ, shows Peter how to get the necessary monies to pay, not only for Him, but for both of them and, thus, avoid any scandal.

In all these traits we may discover a fundamental vision of our Christian life: Jesus' desire to remain with us. In the book of Proverbs the Lord says: «Rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind» (Pr 8:31). Amazing, how this reality may change our approach to our spiritual life where, at times, we only pay attention to what we do, as if that was the most important part of it…! Our interior life must be centered in Christ, in his love for us, in his dying on the Cross for me, in his constant search of our heart. In one meeting with the youth, in Spain, saint John Paul II expressed it very well, when he said, out loud: «Look at Him!».