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Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Ezek. 1:2-5, 24-28 & Mt. 17:22-27

The temple in Jerusalem was very precious to the Jews, not because it was made of valuable stones and metals, but because it was the special abode of God on Earth and their supreme place of worship. All Jews had to contribute to the upkeep of this magnificent edifice by means of a temple tax.

When Peter was asked whether Jesus would pay the temple tax, he did not hesitate to answer in the affirmative. Jesus, however, took the occasion to teach an important lesson about Himself and the temple. He observed that kings do not tax their own sons. By this He implied that He was not a subject of God, but His Son. Only gradually did the earliest Christians realise the full extent of this truth - that Jesus is the unique son of God, equally divine with Him.

His humanity was the new temple in which dwelt the fullness of His divinity. Through Jesus we have been given a share in His divinity.
This makes us temples of God.

There was a hint of this marvellous communication between God and Man in the vision which Ezekiel saw. This vision came to him in the pagan land of the Chaldeans far from the temple in Jerusalem. This was to assure him that God was with them in exile and He would show them the way back to the place where He wanted them to be. But Ezekiel realized that God's presence is not limited to any one place.

Just as we appreciate the identity of Jesus, so should we also appreciate our own. Through Jesus we are the children of God and His living temples, more precious to Him than any building, even that magnificent temple of Jerusalem. He does not exact tribute from us, only the free response of love, because we are His children.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for sharing Your life with us in this world, but we eagerly look forward to the home You have prepared for us in Heaven. May we never take our eyes of living with You.

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