Monday, August 13, 2012

Making prudent choices

In today's gospel we find the temple official who looking for any little thing,raises the issue of the annual temple tax required of all men over the age of 20. The tax itself was very small, a half shekel. Following Jesus instructions Peter goes and catches a fish with a shekel enough to pay for both of them. And so to this day some may refer to Talapia as St. Peter's Fish.

Once more we see that our technology changes much more rapidly than human behavior. How often is it that once we decide we don't like someone we will look for even the smallest thing to criticize?

Even more interesting though is the response of Jesus. Even though he is clear that it is silly for him to pay the tax, he has Peter go ahead and pay it. Jesus decides to pick his battles carefully.

How often do we let ourselves get sucked into useless arguments where we know we are not going to change the mind of the other person even if they are wrong, and when we finally are forced to realize the uselessness of the argument our last line of self defense is "It's the principle of the thing."

Sometimes the most important questions can be is this the appropriate time or place.