Monday of 19th Week of OT C

Small Task with Great Love

In his book, The Prayer of the Frog by Anthony de Mello, S.J., he told a story of a man went to see a psychiatrist and said that every night he was visited by a twelve-foot dragon with three heads. He was a nervous wreck, could not sleep at all and was on the verge of total collapse. He had even thought of suicide. “I think I can help you,” said the psychiatrist, “but I must warn you that it will take a year or two and will cost three thousand dollars.” “Three thousand dollars!” the man exclaimed. “Forget it! I’ll just go home and make friends with it.”

Jesus, in today’s Gospel, when he was asked to pay temple tax, he asked Simon saying, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?” Simon replied, “From foreigners” was exactly right. So then the subjects are exempt, but that may not offend them or embarrass them, Jesus asked Simon to go to catch a fish, opened the mouth of the first fish and took out the coin to pay for both him and Jesus. Why did Jesus do such thing?

It was all because his great love for humanity that he desired to make friend even with his enemies. First, he was a Jewish, so he shouldn’t have to pay tax. However, he still did because he didn’t want to embarrass them. Second, Simon was a fisherman, so fishing was not a difficult thing to do for him when Jesus asked him to go to catch a fish. This meant that making a living with what we do in life was not so difficult rather than to live what we called the agape love, the kind of love that Jesus had and invited us to have, to love even our enemies. Jesus did such thing in today’s Gospel so to teach us to love even the enemies.

As his followers, Jesus invites us to love one another even to the one who is our enemies. Have you and I had enough courage and strength to love one another even to the one that we have difficulty to get along with? What should we do to the one who does not like us? How should we react to the one who does not love us? Even though we can do nothing for the one who hates us, we still can say a prayer, at least, for them, can’t we? We are called not to perform a great task, as a commercial said, but we are called to perform a little one with great love. Decision is yours.


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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