“…you will find a shekel, take it and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
In today’s Gospel passage Jesus sends Peter to catch the first fish and take a shekel out of its mouth to pay the tax. Jesus was the Son of God and knew He did not need to pay the temple tax, yet he did so to demonstrate to his followers that sometimes we need to go beyond our obligations in order to be exemplars and show others the right thing to do.
It is tempting on occasions to exempt ourselves from goings on, albeit on the basis that there is no need, really, for us to oblige. Sometimes as cradle Catholics we feel a sense of entitlement. However, Jesus’ action here is a reminder for us that following the laws of God does not exempt us from submitting to what is required by earthly authority, particularly if doing so serves as an example to others.
In a show of humility Jesus demonstrated that he was open to ‘paying the price’, as he so willingly did for us on Calvary’s cross.