Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saturday of the 14 OT2

 

Readings: Isa 6:1-8; Mt 10:24-33.

1/ First Reading: NAB Isaiah 6:1 In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, with the train of his garment filling the temple. 2 Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft. 3 "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!" they cried one to the other. "All the earth is filled with his glory!" 4 At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke. 5 Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!" 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 He touched my mouth with it. "See," he said, "now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged." 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said; "send me!"

2/ Gospel: NAB Matthew 10:24 No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he becomes like his teacher, for the slave that he becomes like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! 26 "Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. 27 What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge. 30 Even all the hairs of your head are counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. 33 But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.


 

I. THEME: Prophets must say what God commands.

            Today readings center on the prophetic vocation and what the prophets must do. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah reported his own prophetic vocation. The prophetic vocation originates from God, not from human beings, but they have freedom to respond to God’s calling. They are consecrated and trained before were sent out to be God’s speakers. In the Gospel, Jesus taught his disciples what they must and must not do before he sent them on the way.

 

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God called Isaiah to be His prophet.

1.1/ The prophet recognized God’s holiness and his sinfulness: The prophet Isaiah publicly carried out his prophetic mission in four reigns: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. The reign of king Uzziah lasted 50 years, and was a prosperous and safety reign. From that time on, the king of Judah and his people weren’t different with the king of Israel and his people. They were prideful, far away from God, paid attention to enjoyment, and unjust toward the poor.

            One of the special characteristics of the Book of Isaiah which the prophet wanted to highlight is God’s holiness versus human sinfulness. Today passage is one exemplar. The vision in today passage might happen in the temple of Jerusalem. The image of the seraphim with six wings is very popular with nations in Ancient Neas East. When the Seraphim cried one to the other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” They acclaimed God’s extreme holiness, no one of this world is holy like Him. The temple filled of smoke signified God’s presence with human beings, as He presented with the Israelites in the column of clouds and the Tabernacle when they wandered around during their forty years in the desert.

            When Isaiah recognized God’s extreme holiness, he also recognized his sinfulness to the point he cried out: “Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” The Jewish tradition believes that no one who saw God and alives (Exo 33:20). Isaiah believed that he shall die if God doesn’t interfere.

           

1.2/ The prophet was consecrated by fire: Isaiah reported: “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar.” Consacrating by ember might be a symbol for consacrating Isaiah’ mind. It is because of this act that made Isaiah free of sins and escaped death, as the seraphim declared, “"See," he said, "now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged."” Mouth and tongue are two most important instruments of a prophet. This might be a reason why the seraphim touched the ember in Isaiah’ mouth.

            The prophetic vocation is completely voluntary, God calls and the called responds. God invited the prophet by asking the question, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah, was urged from inside, reponded: “Here I am, send me!”

2/ Gospel: “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”

2.1/ Three necessary attitudes of Christ’s disciples: To be Jesus’ loyal disciples, a person needs to have the three following attitudes:

            (1) He must be ready to accept sufferings: Jesus said to his disciples, “If they persecute me, they shall also persecute you.” Christ’s disciples shall certainly be persecuted because the world persecuted Jesus and killed him. Jesus wanted his disciples to clearly remember this point as he said, “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he becomes like his teacher, for the slave that he becomes like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!”

            While doing his preaching or carrying out his apostolic work, the disciple shall meet those who criticize, oppose, threaten or seize him. The simple reason why they do these because the disciple says things they don’t want to hear. For examples, the disciple says that married people must be loyal in their vocation while his audience are some of those who were divorced or separated; he says children must sacrifice and care for old parents while his audience are some of those who sent their parents to the nursing homes; he says that children are gifts from God while his audience are full of those who don’t want to have more children.

            (2) He can’t be afraid of men: If the disciple is afraid of discontent, criticism or opposition, he shall not preach the truth which he was called to preach; in opposition, he shall say the things which shall please his audience even though these things aren’t God’s teaching. This is the reason Jesus forewarned his disciples, “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”

            When witnessing for the truth, a disciple might pay a dearly cost, he might be sacrificed his life for the truth as the case of the martyrs; but God shall give back his life with glory and his soul shall live for ever.

            (3) He must believe in God’s providence: To teach this lesson, Jesus gave them two examples. First, the sparrows. He said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge.” Secondly, human hair. He said, “Even all the hairs of your head are counted.” A human head has countless hairs and many of them fall down daily. If a meaningless hair is concerned by God, what is about the fate of God’s disciple!

            In God’s providence, suffering is the instrument God uses to test the disciple’s faith and love for Him. If the disciple fears and avoids suffering, he doesn’t prove his faith and love for God.

2.2/ The rewards for those who are loyal to witness for the truth: Jesus declared to his disciples, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

St. Paul said that If we share in Christ’s suffering, we shall also share in his glory. A disciple who is afraid to acclaim Christ’s name or to preach his teaching, he isn’t Christ true disciple. In the Last Day, Christ also denies him before his Father.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                   

            - A prophet must say what God commands, even though people don’t like it. When a prophet says something which is oppose to God’s command, he declares his own judgment.

            - We received our prophetic vocation to those we are responsible for. We must fulfill our duty by preaching to them Christ’s teaching.

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