“As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?" And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself."
When you (meaning me) have spent 33 years of your life day in and day out invested in the Word and Jesus; you know for a fact that the scriptural interpretation of “not give offense to them,” by no means meant Jesus was concerned about who He might offend. If I have learned anything about Jesus; I have learned that our Lord wants any and all stumbling blocks removed from our path. Tax was an obligation as a citizen and let’s take care of it and let’s move on. I think it’s also a great example for all of us to see that yes, even Jesus pays taxes.
Are you ready to forge forward in your faith? Do you have any stumbling blocks that are affecting who you are as you follow Jesus? Do not allow them to block your progress and growth. If you have responsibilities, they need to be taken care of; if you have addictions, you need to find someone to help you. Our Lord wants all of our attention, all of our time and all of our love. Distractions like that are something that only keep us from Him. I learned a long time ago that I need to fully give my life to my Lord and then intergrade the other things I desired after Jesus came first in my life.
All of this reminds me of a conversation I had with Father Mullally, I really miss that man. Not only was he our Priest, but he was my Spiritual Director and one of our family’s closest friends. He and I talked virtually every day when he was alive. Going back in the mid 1980’s we once spoke about my “hobbies and interests” LOL. I laugh because I was telling Father about making rosaries, being part of three prayer groups, weekly adoration, daily Mass, my writing daily about the gospel, the rosary groups I was communicating with worldwide. It was so funny he looked at me and said, “Ok? Outside of the church, what do you do?” I was like, “What do you mean? Jesus and Our Lady and the Rosary are my whole life, I don’t want to be doing anything else.” LOL, he said, “Jim, you need to do something else.”
So I did... LOL... I started MORE prayer time groups and even the hourly Rosary Groups Worldwide… Well, Father seen all my online activities in the ministry and he was like, “Jim, that’s not what I meant.” Fast-forward, close to three decades later after reaching areas of the world I never knew even existed; sharing Jesus, Mary and the Rosary with so many people and even sharing many of my experiences with Father Mullally with so many, Father seen things differently. Fr. Mullally spoke to me after Mass one day and said, “Jim what you are doing is a good thing, keep doing it.” So to this day, those words still echo in my heart.
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS