Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 5:27-33)

When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
"We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."
When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Gospel (Jn 3:31-36)

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.


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

I. THEME: People need to be humble so that they can recognize and accept God’s power.

            The universe is so immense while human intellect is so limited. If one can’t fathom what happen on the earth, how can he fathom what is in heaven? Therefore, people need to avoid the narrow minded as the frog sitting at the bottom of a well. Since, he can see only a limited sky as the well’s circle, he thinks he is the best. He doesn’t know that outside of the well is an immense universe!

            Moreover, the universe contains many powerful forces while human beings are so weak. If human beings can’t resist natural forces such as: storms, tonadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, how could they oppose God’s power? If they are still stubborn to do so, they are like eggs throwing into a stony mountain!

            Today readings remind people of their limited capacity. In the first reading, when people of the Sandherin prohibited the apostles from preaching Christ’s teaching, the apostles firmly declared their stance: “We must obey God rather than men.” In the Gospel, Jesus reminded his audience of his origin and theirs: “The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all.”

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: One must obey God than human beings.

            In Jesus’ Passion and Death, all the apostles and the people of Sandherin denied and opposed God. However, God doesn’t condemn them; but He wants people to be responsible of their acts. If they were wrong, they must have courage to accept and to correct them; not to deny and to attribute their sins to others.

1.1/ The apostles had courage to express their faith in Christ: Though they denied and ran away from Jesus in his Passion and Death; but when Jesus appeared to them, they recognized their sins. After were confirmed by the Holy Spirit’s power, they courageously went out and witnessed for Christ before all people.

            First, they accused the Sandherin of the sin of killing the Messiah: “You had him killed by hanging him on a tree.” Then, they pointed out for people to see God’s power: “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.” Finally, they declared their stance: “We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” When they were threatened and prohibited by the Sandherin not to preach in the name of Jesus, Peter and other apostles firmly responded: “We must obey God rather than men.”

1.2/ The stubborn attitude of the Sandherin: They were already wrong the first time when they condemned Jesus and asked Pilate to crucify him, they didn’t accept their sins when the apostles witnessed for him. Instead, the high priest lectured the apostles: “We gave you strict orders (did we not?) to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man's blood upon us.” When the apostles responded that “we must obey God than men,” they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

            The apostles’ answer was so logical, especially for those who have responsibility to protect God’s law. They didn’t recognize the truth; instead, they let their pride and jealousy to rule their mind, and used their power to surpress the apostles. They thought that they were protecting the law, but they actually despised and violated the law. We can list several cases that they contempted the law: First, they condemned Jesus without proper investigation as required by the law. Secondly, they asked Pilate to crucify Jesus to the cross even Pilate, a Gentile, declared Jesus was innocent. Lastly, they threatened, scourged and wanted to kill two witnesses, Peter and John, when they witnessed for Christ. In a word, they despised the law which they have a responsibility to safeguard it; and they let their anger and jealousy ruled their mind so that they abused their power to surpress the innocent.

2/ Gospel: Whoever believes in the Son, has eternal life.

2.1/ Jesus revealed to men what is in God: The basic principle which people must humbly recognized, “The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all.” Before Christ about 600 years, the prophet Isaiah also declared the same thing: “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts” (Isa 55:9).

            Since there exists such a great difference, people can’t understand what come from God if He doesn’t reveal and enlighten people’s mind. Christ came to reveal God’s mysteries for men and the Holy Spirit enlightened people’s mind so they can understand these mysteries. Jesus said of his mission, “He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.”

            The reason why the Jews didn’t believe in Christ because they believed only in the One God. Though they knew, according to the prophets, that God shall send the Messiah to redeem people, but they believed the Messiah shall use his power to save and govern them, not to humbly suffer as Christ did. Jesus explained for them the relationship between God and him, whom God sent to them; but they refused to believe in his word. Jesus reminded them that if they can’t fathom things which happen in the earth, how they can fathom things in heaven.

2.2/ The results of accepting or denying God’s Son: If a person accepts Christ as the one sent by God, he shall inherit eternal life, receive the Holy Spirit, and all blessings which the Father has entrusted to the Son. If a person refuses to believe in Christ as sent by God, he shall not have eternal life but God’s angry is heavily upon him.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We need to study to recognize God’s wisdom and power. We must also realize our limited knowledge and weaknesses. If we do these two things, we shall know how to rightly live to reach good results for our life.

            - Whoever declares he only believes what he can understand is arrogant and absurd. Arrogant because he claims that he can fathom all things in heaven and on earth; absurd because he doesn’t know his limitation and misses chances to learn new things.

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: