Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the third week in OT2

Reading 1: (2 Sam 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17)

 

At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign,
David sent out Joab along with his officers
and the army of Israel,
and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.
David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
One evening David rose from his siesta
and strolled about on the roof of the palace.
From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful.
David had inquiries made about the woman and was told,
"She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam,
and wife of Joab's armor bearer Uriah the Hittite."
Then David sent messengers and took her.
When she came to him, he had relations with her.
She then returned to her house.
But the woman had conceived,
and sent the information to David, "I am with child."

David therefore sent a message to Joab,
"Send me Uriah the Hittite."
So Joab sent Uriah to David.
When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers,
and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well.
David then said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and bathe your feet."
Uriah left the palace,
and a portion was sent out after him from the king's table.
But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace
with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down
to his own house.
David was told that Uriah had not gone home.
On the day following, David summoned him,
and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk.
But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his bed
among his lord's servants, and did not go down to his home.
The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab
which he sent by Uriah.
In it he directed:
"Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce.
Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead."
So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah
to a place where he knew the defenders were strong.
When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab,
some officers of David's army fell,
and among them Uriah the Hittite died.

Gospel: (Mk 4:26-34)

 

Jesus said to the crowds:
"This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come."

He said,
"To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade."
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.


 

I. THEME: The righteous shall live by his faith (Hab 2:4).

             

            There are many things in life that exceed the ability of human understanding; for examples: When we see a fresh flower, we know it is living; but we can’t explain it’s vitality. Similarly, when we see a seed, we know it has potentiality to live and to multiply; but we can’t explain this potentiality of life. In the area of faith, there are some people who have everything to live a happy life; but they aren’t happy and sometimes don’t want to live. In opposition, there are some people who have nothing and sometimes are endured with terminated diseases; but they are happy and fully living their life. What makes the difference between these two kinds of people?

            Today readings gave us some examples of faith and life which are difficult to explain. In the first reading, God has just promised to David that He shall build for him a house that will last for ever; and David loved and appreciated very much what God has done for him. How could God’s promise be fulfilled when David committed two serious sins: adultery and murder? In the Gospel, Jesus compared the kingdom of God as the seed falling to the ground. The seed should sprout and grow though the sower didn’t know how it does. He also compared the kingdom of God like the mustard seed; though it is the smallest seed, it can grow up to a big tree so that birds of heaven can make their nests under its shade.  

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: King David committed two serious sins.

1.1/ David committed adultery: The author briefly reported the occasion of David’s adulterous sin as follows: “It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, "Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, "I am with child."”

            To avoid responsibity, David used ingenious plans twice to create opportunities for Uriah to lay with his wife; but he refused to do so. In the first time, David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and wash your feet." But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. In the second time, David invited him to eat and to drink in his presence, so that he made him drunk. In the evening, Uriah went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 

1.2/ David committed murder: After failing to trick Uriah, David devised a plan to kill Uriah legally. David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.In the letter he wrote, “"Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die."And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men.And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite was slain also.”

            King David thought that it was the end of his affair and no one could know his deeds save Joab. He forgot that nothing could be hidden from God and the terrible results were about to fall upon him and his family. It is above of our imagination to think David committed these two serious sins because he revered God and cared for his neighbor; but it could happen because of human weakness. However, David was in deep repentance after the prophet Nathan accused of his sins. Through these events, David recognized his human weakness, at the same time, God’s love for him. David’s deep repentance and his feeling of God’s love were expressed in Psalm 50 which the Church says in the morning prayer every Friday. God still continues to fulfill what He promises through human weakness. One important thing we learn from David’s life is that we should never loose our hope in God; we must overcome all obstacles and weaknesses, even our serious sins.

2/ Gospel: Faith, the potentiality of divine life, comes from God.

            The kingdom of God was explained by Jesus through two examples. Jesus wanted to say two things: First, the kingdom of God strongly grows by God’s power; not by human effort. Secondly, the kingdom of God starts small; but it has potentiality to expand through all parts of the world.

2.1/ The kingdom of God is liken as a seed which has the potentiality of life: Through the parable, Jesus wanted to emphasize on three points:

            (1) Man isn’t the author of life: Life comes from God and it is given to all creatures. In God’s creation, a seed has the potentiality of life in itself. Men don’t give life to the seed, but they can help the seed to grow and to give a better result. Similarly, the kingdom of God comes from God, and has the potentiality to grow. Men don’t form the kingdom of God, but they can help it to grow and to reach its perfection.

            (2) The characters of the kingdom of God:

            - Its growth can’t be understood: People can see the growth of the seed; but they can’t explain how it grows. Similarly, people can see the kingdom of God develops; but they can’t explain the reason of this development.

            - Its growth is gradually developped: Human development isn’t consistent, sometimes increasing, sometimes decreasing; the development of the seed and the kingdom of God gradually develop and constantly increase.

            (3) The harvest shall come: When the seed is sown to the ground, people are waiting for a harvest. Similarly, when God has begun His kingdom, He is waiting for a glorious harvest. People need to be patient and to properly prepare for that Day.

2.2/ The potentiality of life doesn’t depend on its outside appearance: The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but it has potentiality to become a big tree. The Palestine’s mustard seed can become a tree, not vegetable as our mustard seed. In the ancient world, the empire was liken as a tree, and its vassals were liken as its branches. Jesus wanted to imply that the kingdom of God was begun with a small group of the Jews; but has potentiality to become a big kingdom so that people of all nations shall come and find their dwelling places. This can be demonstrated by more than half population of the world believed in Christ.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Faith is the most precious gift God bestows on men. We must value, develop and hold fast to it.

            - Our faith must be tested as gold is tried by fire; we can be tested as David in the first reading. We must be firm in our faith. God shall give eternal life for those who persevere in their faith until the end.

            - Our faith has potentiality to grow and it can enable us to do impossible thing. Therefore, when we didn’t accomplish what God expects from us, it is because our faith is still weak; we need to ask God to strengthen our faith.

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