Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 5:34-42)

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, "Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God."
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Gospel (Jn 6:1-15)

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
"Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little."
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.


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

I. THEME: If it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them.

            Time is one of important elements to determine a truth. For examples, we need time to determine a watch that was made in Switzerland or China; to know what is a true or faked love; to determine a true or supertitious religion. When people want to destroy a sect, they normally kill its leader. Jesus also stated this fact: “When they kill the shepherd, the sheep shall be scattered.” But Catholic is an exceptional case; although they killed Christ, his sheep aren’t scattered but increased everyday. The Church’s presence is a powerful proof for Christ’s resurrection; Christ is still acting in the Church.

            Today readings want to prove God’s power. When He wants to do something, he shall finish it; no power nor difficulty can prevent God’s will to happen. In the first reading, Gamaliel, a Pharisee, advised the Sandherin to be careful in persecuting Christ’s disciples. According to his experience, let time to eliminate wrong groups. If a group isn’t in God’s plan, sooner or later it shall be disbanded; but if a group is formed according to God’s plan, human beings can’t destroy it. In the Gospel, when Jesus wanted to feed people, he found the way to get food although his disciples brought up many difficulties. When Jesus didn’t want people to make him their king, he went up to a mountain alone.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Let time eliminate falsity.

1.1/ Gamaliel’s wise thinking: He was a Pharisees, respected by all the people, and St. Paul’s teacher before his conversion (Acts 22:3). He ordered the apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to them, "Fellow Israelites, be careful what you are about to do to these men. Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing. After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered. So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." They were persuaded by him because his opinion was based on experience and history.

1.2/ The apostles continued to witness for Christ: Although they agreed with Gamaliel’s opinion, the people of the Sandherin still used their power to threaten the apostles. “They had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.

            The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. All day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah.

2/ Gospel: “He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.”

2.1/ Jesus wanted to feed people: “Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"”

            (1) The apostles wanted Jesus to change his will: They might think that Jesus was like a rabbi; and his duty was to teach and to explain the law, not to feed people.

            - Philíp thought that it shall be costly to feed the crowd: “Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little bit.”

            - Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, thought about lacking of food in the desert: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

            (2) Jesus knew what he is going to do: Although Jesus met his apostles’ dissuasion and the difficulty of finding food in the desert, Jesus said, "Have the people recline." “Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted." So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.”

            This is the image of the sacrament of the Eucharist in the Fourth Gospel. Although John didn’t report Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper, John used the formula of the institution and the discourse about this sacrament in chapter 6. Jesus wanted to establish the sacrament of the Eucharist to remain and to nourish people everyday.

            Like the apostles’ doubt, people of every generation continue to doubt about Jesus’ real presence; they think it is impossible to happen or just a symbol. They forget that nothing is impossible to God. When He wants, He has a way to do it.

2.2/ People wanted to make Jesus their king: When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." The reason why they wanted Jesus to be their king was that he shall continue to give them food; but Jesus wanted them to work for food. When Jesus fed them, he nourished not only their body, but also increased strength for their soul so that they can overcome obstacles in their life.

            When Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. He didn’t want to be their political king because they already had one; he only wants to be the king in their mind and in heaven.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - When we meet difficulties in our apostolic works, we need to believe, “If our works come from God, no one shall be able to destroy them.” In other words, if our works are God’s works, He shall make us to be successful; if they aren’t God’s works, let them vanish. We should not be too worry. No one can resist God’s will.

            - We need to let time discard all counterfeit and falsity in life. We should not hastily follow new doctrine or fashion, and discard the basic standards of our religion, the good traditions of our Church, nation, and family.

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