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Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday within the Octave of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 4:13-21)

Observing the boldness of Peter and John
and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,
the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed,
and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.
Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them,
they could say nothing in reply.
So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin,
and conferred with one another, saying,
"What are we to do with these men?
Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign
was done through them, and we cannot deny it.
But so that it may not be spread any further among the people,
let us give them a stern warning
never again to speak to anyone in this name."

So they called them back
and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John, however, said to them in reply,
"Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."
After threatening them further,
they released them,
finding no way to punish them,
on account of the people who were all praising God
for what had happened.

Gospel (Mk. 16:9-15)

When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, "Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."


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

I. THEME: People can’t avoid the truth for ever.

             

            There was a person who liked to exaggerate and to add more things in when he talked to others about his glorious past. His friends wanted to teach them a lesson so they carefully wrote down what he said. After listening to him a while, they questioned him about the time and the places of what happened in his life, and pointed out to him that what he said were not coincidental with each other. From that time, he began to pay attention to the truth because only the truth could help him to avoid the contradictory.

            Today readings rotate around the theme people can’t avoid the truth for ever. In the first reading, the people of the Sandherin thought that when they crucified Jesus to the cross, people shall be back and listen to them. In opposition, they must face many of Jesus’ disciples and thousands of people who believed in him. In the Gospel, Jesus appeared many times to his disciples after his death. He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Should we obey God or you?

1.1/ The reaction of the Sanhedrin’s members: First, they were very surprise when they saw Peter’s and John’s courage. They thought that there were none or two individuals who dared to opposite with the Sandherin’s power; because whoever did that they surely be dead. Next, they discovered that these two apostles didn’t have educational background and belonged to the “average people” class. Their recognizance was true because both Peter and John were fishermen, how could they have opportunity and time to study like them! The question which they asked Peter and John in yesterday reading was reasonable: “By whose power and in whose name they worked that miracle?”

            Peter’s answer helped them to find out what they were wanting to know: We used only the strength and the power of Jesus Christ, whom you crucified to the cross. They also recognized Peter and John as the companions of Jesus. When they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin so that they could confer with one another. They could only choose one of the two ways:

            (1) Recognize the truth and believe in Jesus: Facing an obvious miracle, three witnesses and a large crowd, they should believe in Jesus, sent by God, was died and resurrected. They themselves said to each other about Peter and John: “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it.”

            (2) Use violence to cover up the truth: There were many obstacles that prevent them to believe in Jesus: fearing of loosing face, loosing power, material gains and changing their faith.

            After discussion, they decided to cover up the truth by violence. They said to each other: “But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name."

1.2/ Peter and John’s reactions: Peter and John challenged them: "Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."

            The people of the Sanhedrin are those who had knowledge and knew God’s law. They must agree with what Peter said, “It is right to obey God more than men;” but because they were so stubborn with the truth, they continued to stay in darkness. The author of Acts reported their stubbornness as follows: “After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus’ appearances according to the gospel of Mark

            Not only the people of the Sandherin were hardness of hearts; but Jesus’ disciples also had this hardness. More than people of the Sandherin, Jesus’ disciples were heard of Jesus’ teaching, seen his transfiguration and foretold of the Passion, Death and Resurrection. Moreover, Jesus didn’t appear to the apostles only one time so that they could confuse him with a ghost or an imagination; but he appeared many times with different disciples. Jesus must rebuke their hardness because they refused to believe not only the words of two witnessess as the law requires, but also the words of many different witnessess. St. Mark listed out three times of Jesus’ appearances.

            (1) With Mary Magdala: “When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.”

            (2) With two disciples on the way to Emmaus: “After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.”

            (3) With the Twelve minus Judas: “Later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.””

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We should aways study to know all the truth because only the truth can set us free from all falsity.

            - Not only know the truth, we must also have courage to say, to live and to witness for the truth.

            - When there is a conflict between God’s and human belief, we must always follow God’s truth.

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