Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 14:5-18)

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet."
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
"The gods have come down to us in human form."
They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes,"
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
"Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Gospel (Jn 14:21-26)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name--
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."


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

 

I. THEME: Working under the Trinity’s guidance

             

            There is a great difference between God’s way and human way; therefore, there is also a big difference between a person who works under the Trinity’s guidance and the one who works according to human way.

            Today readings want to highlight these differences. In the first reading, Paul and Barnabas, who worked under the Holy Spirit’s guidance and in the name of Christ, could make a lame person who was paralyzed from birth to walk. When the local people witnessed this miracle, they wanted to deify Barnabas and Paul as Zeus and Hermes; but they corrected their error and showed them who is the true God. In the Gospel, Jesus revealed for his disciples about the relationship between the holy Trinity and human beings. If they keep his commandments, they shall be loved by the Trinity and have all three in them.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Paul and Barnabas eagerly preached the Good News amidst persecution.

1.1/ Paul healed a paralyzed from birth: Jesus taught his disciples, “When they persecute you in one town, flee to another” (Mt 10:23). So, when Paul and Barnabas were persecuted in Iconium, they left there and came “to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside,where they continued to proclaim the good news.”

            At Lystra, there was a crippled man, lame from birth, who had never walked.He listened to Paul speaking and Paul intently looked at him. When Paul saw that he had the faith to be healed,he called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet." The paralyzed jumped up and began to walk about.

1.2/ Paul and Barnabas corrected people’s misunderstanding about them: “When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, "The gods have come down to us in human form."They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes," because he was the chief speaker.And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.”

            Zeus and Hermes are the two gods of the Greek. Zeus is considered as the king of all Greek’s gods and the patron of farmers. This might be the reason why Paul later explained to them that it is not Zeus who grants them rain from heaven and good crops; but it is God (verse 17). Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia, considered as the patron of travellers, sinners and prostitutes. Hermes is the messenger who conveys god’s messages to men.

            “The apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,"Men, why are you doing this? We are of the same nature as you, human beings. We proclaim to you good news that you should turn from these idols to the living God, 'who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.'In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;yet, in bestowing his goodness, he did not leave himself without witness, for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

           

2/ Gospel: Jesus revealed for his disciples about the relationship between the Trinity and the faithful.

           

2.1/ The relationship between the Father and the Son: This is the ideal relationship which people should imitate it. In this relationship, love and obedience can’t be separated.

            (1) Love: The Father loves His Son and the Son loves the Father. Moreover, love isn’t limited only between the Father and the Son; but extended to humankind. When the Son loves someone, the Father also loves that person.

            (2) Obedience: The Son always obeys the Father and accomplishes His will.

            The relationship between Christ and human beings must also be reflected the relationship between Christ and his Father, especially the two important elements.

            - Love: Jesus loves those who obey him. When Jesus loves someone, the Father also loves that one. The Father and the Son shall come and remain with him. The Father shall reveal to him.

            - Obedience: Whoever has and keeps Jesus’ commandments, he is the one who loves Jesus. When people obey Jesus, they obey the Father because the words they heard aren’t Jesus’ words, but of the Father who sent His Son.

            Then Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, "Master, what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?"The reason is since because the world didn’t love Jesus, they didn’t keep his words. Even though he wants to reveal himself, the world also doesn’t welcome him.

2.2/ The relationship between Christ and the Holy Spirit: Jesus continued to reveal to his disciples: “I have told you this while I am with you.The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name-- he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.”

            (1) The Holy Spirit shall teach the faithful all things: Whatever is lacking in Christ, the Holy Spirit shall teach the faithful. Some of these we have heard last several days from the Acts.

            - The Holy Spirit used the Paschal event to teach the apostles about the relation between the Old Testament and Jesus’ foretelling about his Passion, death and resurrection, so they could explain for people as in Peter’s homily (Acts 3:11-26) and Paul’s homily (Acts 13:16-41).

            - The Holy Spirit also helped the disciples to recognize the Sandherin’s wrongdoing in God’s plan of salvation, so that they could invite them to repent in these two homilies.

            - The Holy Spirit helped them to recognize the need of deacons in their mission (Acts 6:1-7); for the Gentiles to be baptized without circumcision (Acts 10:44-48), and to reconcile in the midst of their conflict as in Paul’s case (Acts 9:26-30).

            (2) The Holy Spirit shall remind them of what Jesus has taught them: Jesus taught his disciples many things, but their limited mind couldn’t receive all. There are something they forgot, he shall remind them; there are something they didn’t understand, he shall help them to understand; there are something they didn’t believe, he shall enlighten them to believe.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:         

            - The Trinity doesn’t work separately, but together in human beings. When we possess one, we have all three; and when we don’t have one, neither the Trinity.

            - The condition for us to have the Trinity is to obey Christ by doing what He wants. When we work according to the Trinity’s guidance, we shall achieve good results.

            - Love and obedience can’t be separated in our relationship with Jesus. If we love him, we must also keep his commandments.

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