Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
Reading: Wherever the spirit would go, they went. And they were raised up together with the living creatures, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. (Ezekiel 1:19)
* When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.” (Matthew 17:26-27)
Observation: So, in the verse that I chose from the first reading today, I am reminded of the Gospel being what moves us in the Spirit, since the four animals are sometimes interpreted to symbolized the four evangelists that wrote the Gospels. The wheels being a symbol of the way the Spirit is moving something connected to the Gospel message, and I think that something should be me. I don’t know if that theologically coincides with the literal interpretation of Ezekiel’s vision, but that is what it is saying to me. As for the actual message intended for me from today’s Gospel, I think it is that even though I may not be expected to give back to the church, more than I give already of my time and treasure that was given to me by a gracious God, I must remember to give God credit for what was given to me from the miracle of my having this job, working for His church. Sure, it is not as amazing as Peter finding a coin in the mouth of a fish, but a miracle, just the same.
Personification:. Faithfulness. It is only when I can display the fruit of faithfulness to God’s Word and the church that was instituted by Jesus, that I can be sure of making good use of the grace that He gives me in the Sacraments that I receive.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be what you want me to be for my family and friends, so that I can Be sure that I am not standing in the way of your will for the people who I can most directly affect by my decisions. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen