Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Deuteronomy 10:12-22 + Matthew 17:22-27
August 9, 2021
“Give that to them for me and for you.”
Jesus sometimes worked grand spectacles through His miracles. But as impressive as they are, spectacles were not the norm for Jesus. More frequent is what, in the life of St. Thérèse the Little Flower, was called the “Little Way”. Though the Little Flower coined the phrase, the Little Way is the Way of Jesus.
His way is one of simplicity and humility that often goes overlooked by those seeking spectacles. It is a way that is ignored by those who are looking out for themselves, instead of others: by those who justify their actions by claiming that they’re just doing what everyone else is doing, walking down the broad path, instead of trying to walk the narrow way that following Jesus demands.
The simplicity and humility of Jesus in today’s Gospel offers a very good meditation for today. Jesus is not obligated to pay the tax that is demanded of Peter, but Jesus explains—“that we may not offend them”—that He will pay the tax anyhow. The miracle by which Jesus accomplishes this almost goes unnoticed, because it’s not the point. Jesus’ point is to teach by humility, to teach by doing what is not necessary, but which can lead others to see that Little Way that—after a long journey through a life of service in this world—does lead to the great vision of eternal life with God and His saints.