Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Tuesday of the 23 OT2

 

Readings: 1 Cor 6:1-11; Lk 6:12-19.

1/ First Reading: NAB 1 Corinthians 6:1 How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones? 2 Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters? 4 If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers? 6 But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 Now indeed (then) it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers. 9 Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

2/ Gospel: NAB Luke 6:12 In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13 When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 17 And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon 18 came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. 19 Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

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I. THEME: Sacrificing to build up one’s community instead of bringing others to court.

            One of the main causes which causes division in today family and community is that people no longer know the value of “sacrificing.” Instead, people only pay attention to themselves, want to be served not to serve, want others to sacrifice for them, not them for others. Once they don’t get what they want, they become angry, jealous and bring others to court. They never think that if everyone also behave like them, how a family or a community can survive?

            Today readings want to emphasize what are needed to build up a community. In the first reading, St. Paul condemned the faithful who brought their cases to a civil court. He advised them to settle their differences in community, especially to sacrifice in order to build up their community. In the Gospel, Jesus prayed with his Father all night before he chose his twelve apostles who would sacrifice for the Church which he is going to establish.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The faithful should not bring their case to a civil court.

            Before finding the reason why the faithful should not bring their case to a civil court, we need to understand the different custom between the two nations related to solving a conflict. St. Paul is a Jew who wrote his letter to the Corinthians, the Greek. To the Jews, when they have a contention, they bring their case to a synagogue so they can be judged by the elders and the scribes of the village, not to a civil court. The reason for this is that they want to be judged in a familial atmosphere, not only in a judicial atmosphere. They have a law that prohibits people to bring their case to a civil court; whoever does that they commit blasphemy—against God’s law. To the Greeks, a civil court is a place to judge and they are very proud of their laws to judge people.

            St. Paul not only put his trust in God’s wisdom but also disregarded for worldly wisdom. To him, the faithful bring their case to a civil court to be judged is contradictory because the faithful themselves are given power to judge the world (Wis 3:8). The simple reason for St. Paul’s prohibition is because all civil judges are Gentiles, they don’t have their faith in God. They also don’t have God’s wisdom to know all related facts to a case, so they can’t fairly judge people. So, when the faithful have a contention, they should go to the Church because she certainly has wise people who can judge a case more fairly than civil judges.

            However, a contention is the last step to do because the faithful should suffer to build up their community. The law is only the minimum condition to protect order in a community. In order for a community to greatly develop, the faithful need to have love so they can suffer for their community to develop. If there is no Jesus’ sacrifice, we shall not inherit the salvation. If there is no St. Paul’s suffering love, the Good News shall not advance to Corinth, and a community shall not be established there. Sacrifice is to suffer loss so that others can live. Once a person recognized other’s sacrifice for them, that person in his turn shall also sacrifice so others can live. Therefore, a contention is a failure, not for both parties but also for the community.

            To people who are ignorant to others’ sacrifice for them, St. Paul forewarned them: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus chose the twelve apostles who shall sacrifice to build up the Church.

            At Caesarea Philip, Jesus chose Simon Peter as the rock to build up the Church which he is going to establish. However, Peter alone shall not be enough to lead a big crowd, so Jesus chose eleven other apostles, together with Peter to lead the Church. Some important things we can learn from Jesus about his selection of the Twelve.

            - He didn’t choose anyone new, but from his disciples. We need to differentiate between the two nouns, apostle and disciple. According to the Greeks, the noun “disciple” comes from the verb, to learn; a disciple is a learner from his master; while the noun “apostle” comes from the verb, to send out; an apostle is the one who is sent out. Jesus himself gave the Church a structure which includes disciples and apostles, Peter and his successors. Not everyone who can be sent out and not everyone who has a right to decide.

            - He awoke all night to converse with his Father to choose the apostles according to the divine standard, not the human standard. Looking at the list of those who were chosen, we didn’t see any distinguished character on them according to human standard, such as: wisdom, religion, fame, power or richess. In opposition, they were people who are weak, sinful and different temperament. For examples, Peter is weak, talking without careful thinking. He professed that he shall never leave Jesus alone even others leave him, but denied Jesus three times in the same night. Matthew who is a tax-collector, a sinner and a Jews’ enemy, was chosen by Jesus to stay with Simon the Jealous. The reason why he had that title is because he was conservative, hated the Roman Empire and all those who work for them. If not for Jesus, these two people can kill each other. And Judah Iscarioth whom he foreknew that shall become a betrayer. Jesus chose these people to live with him, to be trained before he shall send them out. Once were chosen, Jesus shall train and give them grace so they can become good instrument to build up the Church.

            After he chose them, Jesus began to train them by his teaching and good examples. They must sacrifice their career and family to follow Jesus and to live with each other. They learn his teaching and he gave them power to expel demons and to heal.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - To live together is to have conflicts. We need to learn to understand the value of sacrifice. Without sacrifice, a family and a community are easy to be broken and all members must greatly suffer. We lived by the sacrifices of many people; so when it is our turn, we must also sacrifice to contribute on the development of our family, society and God’s kingdom.

            - Even though no one recognizes our sacrifice for them, we still have God who sees all things and shall properly return our favor.

            - We need to obey those were chosen by God. When we need someone to solve our conflict, we should come to the Church’s representatives instead of bringing our cases to a civil court.

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