Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Reading 1 (Acts 20:17-27)

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
"You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God's grace.

"But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God."

Gospel (Jn 17:1-11a)

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
"Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

"I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you."


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

 

I. THEME: Looking back at the preaching of the Good News

             

            God unceasingly sends good shepherds to teach, to love and to sacrifice themselves for their sheep. God’s puspose in sending them is to make people believe in His love for them. The most important point is whether people can recognize and respond to His love through shepherds of the Good News. If they recognize and respond, they shall know how to protect the priceless gift of faith which these shepherds handed to them; if not, they shall continue to walk in darkness and not knowing where is their destination of life.

            Today readings give us two excellent exemplars of the two shepherds who sacrificed their whole life to do God’s will and to benefit others. Both of them were at peace and content because they fulfilled all what wanted them to do and ready to confront the coming dangers. In the first reading, St. Paul gathered the communal leaders of Ephesus to say his heartfelt goodbye before returning to Jerusalem to be persecuted. In the Gospel, Jesus gathered his apostles to give them his last words and prayed for them before he entered the Olive garden to begin his Passion.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: I am not responsible for the blood of any of you.

1.1/ Paul looked back at his missionary and said farewell to the church of Ephesus: He felt that he was faithful with his mission: “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia...  and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes.I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.” He was please to suffer for the preaching of the Good News: “I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews.”

1.2/ Paul saw the coming sufferings but he is still courageous to come forward: He always lived according to the Holy Spirit’s guidance as he said, “But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know,except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me.” Knowing so, but Paul was ready to sacrifice all, even his body to witness for Christ: “Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace.”

1.3/ Paul handed the church of Ephesus to the elders: When Paul said the above words, he didn’t intend to display his works for them to see, but wanted them to understand that their faith is the result of the preacher’s hard works. He stressed that they have a duty to protect the believers’ faith and to make it growing: “But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again.And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus prayed for his disciples before the Passion.

2.1/ Jesus reviewed his works in God’s plan of salvation: As a wise leader who always masters all situations, Jesus reviewed what he did, what is going on and shall happen.

            (1) He looked forward to the future: The Passion is coming, but Jesus was confident that when he is hanging on the cross, it is the time for God’s salvation to be fulfilled. He looked up to heaven and prayed to his Father, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you.”

            (2) He knew that God’s plan of salvation is to bring salvation to all people: “Just as you gave him authority over all people, so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” To know the Father and the Son are the condition to attain the eternal life. The verb “to know” in Hebrew isn’t merely intellectual, but also to do what God commanded.

            (3) He looked back at the past: Jesus knew that he revealed all God’s mysteries and his relationship with the Father for his disciples: “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”

            Jesus knew that he had fulfilled his duties of revealing and teaching his disciples. Now, he must overcome the last obstacle to complete God’s plan of salvation which is to accept the Passion and his death on the cross.

2.2/ Jesus prayed for his disciples: “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours.” The disciples are the gifts which the Father gave to Jesus, and Jesus is the gift which the Father gives to people; therefore, people are common assets of both the Father and the Son.

            As the successful students glorify their teacher or the healed patients glorify their doctor, people are the reason why Jesus is glorified. Because of human beings, Jesus had an opportunity to obey the Father and to conquer them back to Him.

            During the time Jesus lived with his disciples, he protected those the Father gave to him. Now, he must leave them, so he prayed to the Father to ask Him to protect them from all wordly dangers: “And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.”

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Our faith in God and Christ guarantees us the eternal life. We have this faith because of Christ’s teaching and his blood, the efforts and the sacrifices of the apostles, all the saints and our ancestors through all generations, not by chance.

            - All of us have two duties after receiving our faith: First, to make our faith to grow stronger; secondly, to propagate the faith to others by preaching the Gospel.

            - We need to often review these two duties and ask of ourselves: Do our faith grow stronger everyday? And do we fulfill God’s given duty of preaching the Gospel to all people, especially for people in our family and community?

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