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Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 3:11-26)

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called "Solomon's Portico."
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
"You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.

"Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways."

Gospel (Lk 24:35-48)

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
"Peace be with you."
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things."


 

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

I. THEME: How to know and to believe in Christ’s resurrection?

            Every year, at the time when the faithful celebrate Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection, the weekly magazines such as Times or Newsweek often put out surprised questions related to Jesus’ resurrection, such as: Is Jesus really resurrected? None saw Jesus when he was resurrected and went out of the tomb! The archaeology didn’t find any trace of Jesus’ tomb! Why are there two places which declared that it was the place of Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem? Their purpose is to make people to ponder their faith in the eternal life, as St. Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” (1 Cor 15:14).

            But to look for the facts around the empty tomb is the lowest way to prove Christ’s resurrection. Today readings show us the higher ways to know Christ has been raised from death. In the first reading, St. Peter proved Christ’s resurrection by a practical work. He used Christ’s power to heal a lame from birth and Scripture to prove that Christ’s resurrection which had been mentioned many times in it. In the Gospel, Jesus appeared to his apostles and he ate before them to show that he is a real man, not a ghost that they were being afraid of. He also used the words of Scripture to prove that he must go through sufferings before his glorious resurrection.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Peter and John proved Jesus has been raised from death.

1.1/ Peter witnessed for the Resurrected Christ through a healing: He wanted to show people two things:

            (1) Healing power of a lame couldn’t come from a human being: Peter told them: “You Israelites, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?”

            (2) Healing power came from Christ:

            - Christ, whom you killed, has been resurrected: “The of our ancestors, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence, when he had decided to release him.You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.”

            - Christ gave Peter the healing power: “And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you.”

1.2/ Peter witnessed for Christ by his explanation of Scripture.

            (1) Christ must suffer: The fact that Jewish leaders plotted to kill Jesus wasn’t accidental, it was planned by God, and announced by most of His prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea). Peter consoled people: “Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer.Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Messiah already appointed for you, Jesus,whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”

            (2) Christ fulfilled all prophets’ prophecies: What happened to Jesus when he was living in this world, were announced by God’s prophets. Each prophet announced one aspect of his life. Put all of prophets’ announcement together, we shall have a clear understanding of Jesus’ life. Peter listed out three prophets’ announcement in today passage:

            - Moses’ prophecy: “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.Everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be cut off from the people” (Deut 18:15-20).

            - Samuel’s and others’ prophecy: “Moreover, all the prophets who spoke, from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days” (Lk 1:70).

            - God’s promise to Abraham: “In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed”(Gen 22:18, 26:4). For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.

2/ Gospel: Jesus appeared to his apostles.

2.1/ Christ proved to his apostles that he is a real man: When we saw the death’s soul appeared to us, we probably have the same feeling as the apostles when they say Jesus, “they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.” To prove that he wasn’t a ghost, Jesus did two things:

            (1) First, he let them touch his body: He said to them: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have."As he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

            (2) Second, he ate before them: “While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"They gave him a piece of baked fish;he took it and ate it in front of them.”

           

2.2/ Christ’s explanation of the Scripture to his apostles

            (1) The whole Scripture is necessary to understand Christ: Jesus reminded the apostles about his teachings when he was still living with them: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.”

            They couldn’t understand these words without Christ; neither they could understand Jesus’ life without these words to enlighten them.

            (2) The prophet Hosea spoke about Christ’s resurrection: “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day” (Hos 6:2).

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:

                     

            - We should never let the mass media shake our faith in Christ’s resurrection.

            - We have not only two witnesses as the law required, but many witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection such as: the whole Scripture, the apostles’ miracles, the complete change of Jesus’ apostles, many people’s conversion and martyrs throughout generations.

            - The history of the Catholic Church during more than 2000 years is the forceful and living proof of the fact that Christ is still living and acting in the Church amidst of opposition, persecution and prison.

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