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Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 13:26-33)

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."

Gospel (Jn 14:1-6)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."


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

 

I. THEME: All God’s promises are fulfilled by Christ.

            People desire to live and are afraid of death. If people must exchange all what they have for immortal life, many are ready to do so; but death is a reality which everyone has to face. People often ponder that why the desire for an immortal life is in them, but they have to face death? Lucky for man because Jesus came to provide for people the true answer: God creates people for the immortal life and He has already a plan to help people to achieve this.

            Today readings concentrate on the person of Christ; he came to fulfill God’s plan of salvation and to bring eternal life for people. In the Acts, St. Paul brought people back to the history of salvation, so they could clearly see what God promised to their ancestors, were fulfilled by Christ through his Passion, Death and Resurrection. In the Gospel, Jesus revealed for his disciples what are going happen to him and them. He goes before them to prepare a place for each of them and he shall be back to bring them to live with him. All God’s plan of salvation can be abbreviated in Jesus’ declaration: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: What God promised to our fathers were fulfilled in Christ.

1.1/ All things that happened to Jesus were foretold in Scripture: Paul said to his audience in the synagogue at Antioch, Pisidia: "My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent." Then, he proceeded to talk about the condemnation, the death, and the burial of Christ.

            (1) The condemnation: "The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him, and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets that are read sabbath after sabbath." The Four Songs of God’s Suffering Servants in the Boof of the prophet Isaiah and many other prophets illustrated this point.

            (2) His death: "For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him put to death." Pilate himself, after his examination, declared to them: “I don’t find any sin in this man which is deserved to death;” but they shouted louder: “Crucify him! Crucify him to the cross.”

            (3) His burial: "When they had accomplished all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.”

1.2/ God gives him power to resurrect from the death: Although the Jews denied Christ and crucified him to the cross, they didn’t ineffectively render God’s plan because He let Christ resurrect from his death. Therefore, God’s plan of salvation is fulfilled in Christ; and from now on, not only the Israelites but also all people can receive God’s salvation. Paul illustrated some witnesses of the Paschal mystery:

            (1) Christ appeared many times to his disciples: “But God raised him from the dead,and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people.”

            (2) Paul and Barnabas witnessed for the Paschal mystery: "We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our ancestorshe has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, 'You are my son; this day I have begotten you.'"

2/ Gospel: No one can come to the Father except through Christ.

2.1/ Christ’s love for his disciples: These are Christ’s last words for his disciples before his Passion and Death; they must be treated as the death’s important encouragement for the living: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.Where I am going you know the way.”

2.2/ The Way to the Father:

            (1) Thomas’ question: "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Thomas’ question is logical because one must know the destination before he chooses the mean to reach it. When Thomas asked this question, he still didn’t believe Jesus came from heaven; so when Jesus said that he shall go back to the Father, he didn’t think Jesus shall ascend to heaven. Until he saw for himself Jesus’ appearance (Jn 20:26-28), then he confirmed his faith in Jesus by saying, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28).

            (2) Jesus’ answer: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” How can a person can declare this statement? The apostles might not understand its meaning at the time of Jesus’ saying; but only under the light of Jesus’ resurrection, they could recognize its meaning.

            First, Jesus revealed to men an important “truth.” He revealed God’s will for them. God doesn’t want them to die but to “live” for ever. This is the final destination of humankind, and also the goal of God’s plan of salvation. This isn’t new because when God creates man, He puts in their soul the desire to live for ever. How can people reach this destination? People can’t reach it by themselves because they are sinful and have no strength; but God prepared the plan of salvation for them.

            This is the “road” or the “way” which God saves men. He gave them His only Son to incarnate to redeem people’s sins. This son fulfilled God’s plan by sufferings, death and resurrection to bring about eternal life for people.

            In order to achieve the etrnal life, people must believe in Christ and God’s plan of salvation; at the same time, they must also go through the road of sufferings which Christ went through to redeem people, as Paul said, “If only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:17). Indeed, only Christ has the authority to say: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

- Our life is only meaningful when we put our faith in Christ. He came to reveal to us God’s will, to suffer and to die so that we can live for ever.

- All events in Scripture can only be understood through Christ’s Paschal Mystery.

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