Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Wednesday within the Octave of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 3:1-10)

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o'clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called "the Beautiful Gate" every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, "Look at us."
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk."
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Gospel (Lk. 24:13-35)

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus' disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
"What are you discussing as you walk along?"
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?"
And he replied to them, "What sort of things?"
They said to him,
"The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


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

I. THEME: Jesus still accompanies his apostles after the resurrection.

            Jesus’ Passion and Death is a crisis and a desparation for all apostles because they completely put their life and hope in him. Most of them left Jesus in his Passion. When they were no longer see him, they were discourageous and hopeless. Some left Jerusalem to return to their family, to their former life as two disciples on the way to Emmaus. Jesus foresaw this situation when he said to his disciples before his Passion: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed” (Mt 26:31).

            Today readings want to emphasize that even though Jesus no longer lives in a human body, he still accompanies and acts in his disciples. He can heal, teach, expel demons, and raise people from death through his disciples. In the first reading, Jesus empowered Peter to heal a lame from birth as he did to people before. Peter used the name of Jesus Christ, the Nazorean, to achieve this miracle. In the Gospel, Jesus lighted up the hope for two disciples on the way to Emmaus, when he broke the bread with them and helped them to undertand all recent events under the light of Scripture.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Peter healed a lame from birth.

            One day, Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o'clock hour of prayer. They kept their habit to pray in the temple even though Jesus was no longer with them and started a new era. This shows us that there are good habits to keep, not that when the new era begins, we must discard everything that belong to old era.

            (1) A miracle is needed to light up people’s faith: God continues to show His compassion to humankind, as He uses human love to lessen human pain and suffering. The miracle which was performed by Peter showed this. It is also necessary for Jesus’ apostles to know that Christ bestowed on them power and love so that they can continue his mission which is to bring people back to him.

            (2) Helping others not only by giving them gold or siver but also by healing, teaching and helping them to have faith and hope in God. According to the passage, “there was a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called "the Beautiful Gate" every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, (rise and) walk." Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.”

            (3) People’s reaction when they witnessed the miracle: After was healed, “he went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, and they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus accompanied two of his disciples on the way to Emmaus.

            There were two amongst Jesus’ disciples who left Jerusalem to come to Emmaus, about 11 km from Jerusalem. They conversed with each other about the events which had just happened. The fact that they left Jerusalem showed they lost their faith and hope in Christ.  

2.1/ They heard and saw the Lord, but didn’t recognize him: While they had conservation, Jesus approached and accompanied them; but they didn’t recognize him. According to St. Luke, “their eyes were prevented them from recognizing him.” Jesus accompanied them to recognize their anxiety, and he helped them to understand the meaning of the events that related to him.

            (1) Two disciples’ worry and desparation: He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" And he replied to them, "What sort of things?" They said to him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see."

            In our life, there are times we acted as these two disciples. We let the events pass by and didn’t recognize their relation to our life. In order to see their meaning and role, we need to often reflect and to ponder about these events.

            (2) Jesus’ explanation of Scripture: Then, “Jesus said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.”

2.2/ Two disciples recognized Jesus.

            (1) Through their participation in Mass: “And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?"

            What happened on the way to Emmaus was the image of the Mass: Jesus’ explanation of Scripture is equivalent to the Liturgy of the Words, and his breaking of the bread is corresponding to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Both parts are necessary for us to recognize Christ’s presence in our life, and to empower us to face all hardships of our life.

            (2) Through fraternal union and study: “So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with themwho were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

            When living alone, we are easy to feel discourageous and despair; but when we unite with others to share our faith, we shall find wisdom, strength and couragement to fight against all obstacles of our life.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Jesus is living; he is acting among us. Life shall be meaningless, burdensome and sad if we don’t have Jesus to accompany us; but life is so meaningful if we have his presence in our life. He shall provide us wisdom, strength and grace to live a meaningful life in this world.

            - In times of discouragement, suspicion and hopelessness, we should pray to Jesus: “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”

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