Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Eighth Week in OT2

Reading 1: (Jude 17:20b-25)

Beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand
by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in the love of God
and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life.
On those who waver, have mercy;
save others by snatching them out of the fire;
on others have mercy with fear,
abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.

To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you unblemished and exultant,
in the presence of his glory,
to the only God, our savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord
be glory, majesty, power, and authority
from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.

Gospel: (Mk 11:27-33)

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
"By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?"
Jesus said to them, "I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John's baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me."
They discussed this among themselves and said,
"If we say, 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say,
'Then why did you not believe him?'
But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?"--
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know."
Then Jesus said to them,
"Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."


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

 

I. THEME: Live truthfully according to Christ’s teaching, not worldly sophistry.

            Christ and his apostles tried to teach people to recognize the truth and to live according to God’s commandments; but they also knew that there were some people who professed to believe in God, but always tried to sow false teachings to attract people to follow their ways. St. Paul called them wolves under sheep’s skin (Act 20:29-30). St. John called them the “antichrists” (1 Jn 2:18-19).

            Today readings help the faithful to recognize their fallacious sophistry and the way to be loyal with Christ’s teaching. In the first reading, after pointed out the dangers, the author of the Letter of Jude advised the faithful to do the necessary things to protect their faith, to practice charity and to maintain the spirit of unity in their community. In the Gospel, Jesus knew that some Pharisees and scribes were planning a plot to find a cause to condemn him by asking, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Instead of answering their question, Jesus also asked them a question, “Was John's baptism of heavenly or of human origin?” as the condition before he answers their question.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

            1.1/ What the faithful need to do while they wait for Christ’s second coming: The author of the Letter of Jude advised his beloved faithful the followings:

            (1) “Remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The apostolic tradition is very important because those who preach false doctrines always try to bend the truth which the apostles preached. The apostles handed to us God’s truth through Christ’s teachings.

            (2) “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith.” Faith is the priceless gift which the faithful received from God through the apostles’ preaching. The faithful need to build their house on the firm foundation of faith.

            (3) “Pray in the Holy Spirit.” We don’t know how to properly pray. Most of our praying time concentrate on petition, and many of our petitions didn’t please God. The author advised the faithful to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance who Christ sent to dwell in the faithful’s soul. He shall help the faithful to pray according to God’s will.

            (4) “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” Jesus also advised his apostles, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.” (Jn 15:9-10). If the faithful remain in God’s love, they shall have God’s love to love others.

            (5) “And wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” The ultimate goal of our life is to attain eternal life with God. In order to attain it, we must be patient and wait for it.

            1.2/ To help others: Though the author condemned those who sowed false doctrines, he advised the faithful to have mercy for three kinds of person:

            (1) Those who are in doubt: These people didn’t understand the truth yet; they are still hesitated between the truth and the falsity. To this kind of people, we must patiently instruct and pray for them to recognize the truth.

            (2) The innocent: are those who lack reason to recognize the truth. To this kind, the author advised, “Save (them) by snatching them out of the fire.”

            (3) The sinners: are those who committed sins out of their weakness. To this kind of people, “have mercy with fear, abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh.” St. Thomas Aquinas made a difference, “We must hate sin but love the sinner.”

            In the doxology, the author offered his praise to God and Christ, “To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.”

2/ Gospel: The mental fighting between Jesus and the Jewish leaders

            The background of the mental fighting is Jesus’ purification of the Jerusalem temple which was reported yesterday. The high priests, scribes and elders questioned Jesus, not out of their concern for God’s temple, but to have a cause to condemn him.

            2.1/ The question was asked by the high priests, scribes and elders: They asked Jesus: "By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?" Jesus knew well that if he answers by God’s power, they shall condemn him of blasphemy; but if he answers by human power, they shall condemn him of destroying the temple. Whatever he answers, they shall have a reason to seize him. Instead of directly answering them, Jesus put out a question as the condition which they must provide before he gives his answer. Jesus asked them, “Was John's baptism of heavenly or of human origin?” If they carefully paid attention to Jesus’ question, they shall know it is the answer for them!

            2.2/ Two reactions:

            (1) Of the high priests, scribes and elders: Mark reported, “They discussed this among themselves and said, "If we say, 'Of heavenly origin,' he will say, 'Then why did you not believe him?' But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?"-- They feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, "We do not know.""

            (2) Of Jesus: Since they didn’t satisfy Jesus’ condition, so he said to them, "Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things."

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We must be sincere in searching for the truth. Don’t let any pride, jealousy, material gains confine us in falsity.

            - We aren’t wiser than God because He created us. Let be humble to learn of God’s wisdom.

            - If we don’t learn and live according to the truth, we shall never reach our ultimate goal which is the eternal life with God.

            - When we know the truth, we shall recognize the devil and the world’s fallacies.

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