Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

 

Reading 1: (Eze 7:21-28)

 

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will take the children of Israel from among the nations
to which they have come,
and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.
I will make them one nation upon the land,
in the mountains of Israel,
and there shall be one prince for them all.
Never again shall they be two nations,
and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols,
their abominations, and all their transgressions.
I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy,
and cleanse them so that they may be my people
and I may be their God.
My servant David shall be prince over them,
and there shall be one shepherd for them all;
they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.
They shall live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob,
the land where their fathers lived;
they shall live on it forever,
they, and their children, and their children's children,
with my servant David their prince forever.
I will make with them a covenant of peace;
it shall be an everlasting covenant with them,
and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD,
who make Israel holy,
when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.

Gospel: (Jn 11:45-56)

 

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees
and told them what Jesus had done.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened the Sanhedrin and said,
"What are we going to do?
This man is performing many signs.
If we leave him alone, all will believe in him,
and the Romans will come
and take away both our land and our nation."
But one of them, Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year, said to them,
"You know nothing,
nor do you consider that it is better for you
that one man should die instead of the people,
so that the whole nation may not perish."
He did not say this on his own,
but since he was high priest for that year,
he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews,
but he left for the region near the desert,
to a town called Ephraim,
and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, "What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?"


Written by: Fr. Anthony Dinh M. Tien, O.P.

I. THEME: God gives His people the Savior.

            Looking back at the history of salvation and mankind, we see a big difference between God and human beings. People caused damages and destruction, God built up and renewed. People caused hatred and division, God created love and unity. People caused war and death, God bestowed peace and joy.

            Today readings show us contrasted attitudes between God and human beings. In the first reading, the prophet Ezekiel, though was living on exile, has foreseen the day in which God shall do two things for the Israelites. First, “I will take the Israelites from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.” Secondly, “I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God.” In the Gospel, the Pharisees convened the Sandherin, the highest court of the Jews, to devise a plan to kill Jesus. The high priest Caiaphas unintentionally mentioned two purposes of Jesus’ death: First, he must die for all people. Secondly, his death shall gather all God’s children who are scattering into one.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God shall gather all sheep into one flock and they shall be cared by a shepherd.

1.1/ God shall gather His people into one: Ezekiel prophesized three things.

            (1) The Israelites shall be back to their country: The Israelites completely lost their nations because they disobeyed God’s command. The Northern Kingdom was lost and exiled to Assyria in 721 B.C.; the Southern Kingdom was lost and exiled to Babylon in 587 B.C.. Living on exile, the prophet Ezekiel was prophesized the day of returning; “I will take the Israelites from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.”

            (2) The Israelites shall be unified: The Israelites was divided into two kingdoms before the exile. The prophet Ezekiel was also foretold the unity of the nation: “I will make them one nation upon the land, in the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one prince for them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.”

            (3) The Israelites shall be purified: The main reasons why the Israelites were on exile were because they turned their backs to God and worshipped idols and committed social injustice. The time on exile was for purification of their sins. God shall forgive them when they sincerely repent and wanted to be back to Him. God promised, “No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their transgressions. I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God.”

1.2/ God shall give people a king like David to govern them for ever.

            (1) King David: is considered the most famous king of the Israelites. During his reign, all the twelve tribes of Israel were unified, people enjoyed peace and their territories were widen. The new king shall govern people belongs to David’s lineage and shall be famous like David. This king “shall be prince over them, and there shall be one shepherd for them all; they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.They shall live on the land which I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where their fathers lived; they shall live on it forever, they, and their children, and their children's children, with my servant David their prince forever.”

            (2) God shall establish a new covenant with the house of Israel: “I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

            (3) God’s people shall be expanded to all nations: “Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the Lord, who make Israel holy, when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.”

2/ Gospel: “One man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.”

2.1/ God used Jesus to gather His people into one: The miracle in which Jesus raised Lazarus to life after three days in the tomb made many people to believe in him. This was the main reason why the Pharisees devised a plan to kill Jesus. They said to each other: “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs.If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.”

            What they thought became reality in 70 A.D., but Jesus wasn’t the cause for the Romans to destroy the nation. The Sandherin included Pharisees, who tediously keep the law, and the Sadducees, who concern political and social problems.

            (1) Jesus died for all people: But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing,nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish."There is an irony between what Caiaphas said and God’s plan of salvation: Jesus must die in order for all people to have salvation.

            (2) Jesus died so that he shall gather all scattering people into one: There is another irony between God’s will and what Caiaphas said. God used him to reveal His intention: “He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.” As the prophet Ezekiel prophesized in the first reading, Jesus came to gather people into one flock. He is the only Good Shepherd who shall care for this flock.

2.2/ Jesus prepared to die for all people: Jesus knew their plan and he knew his days in the world is about ended, he no longer publicly appeared among the Jews. From this place, he came to a desert, to a city called Ephraim (near Bethel). He remained there with his disciples.

            Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves.They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, "What do you think? Will he not come to the feast?"

            They thought that Jesus had no courage to face political and religious powers. They were wrong! Because Jesus not only came but also solemny entered Jerusalem with people from Bethany on Palm Sunday which we shall celebrate to remember this event tomorrow.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We should learn to do like God: to build up instead of to destroy; to unify instead of to divide; to love instead of to hate.

            - Jesus died for all of us. He died to bring all humankind to God. This is the Good New which we believe and announce to all.

            - God controls all people and all things. All what He wants shall be accomplished. People can’t do anything to render ineffective even one of God’s plan.

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