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Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 (Amo 9:11-15)

Thus says the LORD:
On that day I will raise up
the fallen hut of David;
I will wall up its breaches,
raise up its ruins,
and rebuild it as in the days of old,
That they may conquer what is left of Edom
and all the nations that shall bear my name,
say I, the LORD, who will do this.
Yes, days are coming,
says the LORD,
When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
and the vintager, him who sows the seed;
The juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains,
and all the hills shall run with it.
I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel;
they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities,
Plant vineyards and drink the wine,
set out gardens and eat the fruits.
I will plant them upon their own ground;
never again shall they be plucked
From the land I have given them,
say I, the LORD, your God.

Gospel (Mt 9:14-17)

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
"Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."


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

 

I. THEME: Don’t be so blind and stubborn.

            Sins are hardly to avoid as long as a person remaining in the flesh. The important point is that a person must recognize his sins to repent, to ask God for forgiveness, and to know how to take advantage of all God’s grace so that he can live a better life everyday. The one who doesn’t use God’s grace and accept his sins, how can he receive God’s forgiveness and live a better life everyday?

            Today readings want to wake up people so that they can recognize their sins against God and use God’s given opportunities to become better. In the first reading, the prophet Amos predicted the glorious days of David’s reign shall be back; the scattered Israelites from all directions shall joyfully return to re-establish the nation, the Gentiles shall be added on, and the number of those who believe in God shall increase when the Messiah’s reign comes. In the Gospel, when John Baptist’s disciples questioned Jesus about no fasting, he answered them that fasting must be on time and right occasion. People are only fasting when they recognized that they are sinful and live away from God; but they must be joyful and cheerful eating and drinking when they have him.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: I shall change the fate of Israel, my people.

1.1/ I will raise up the fallen hut of David: David’s reign is considered as the golden age of the Israelites because of his relationship with God, his uniting of the twelve tribes of Israel and his widening of the Israel’s boundary. After David’s reign, the Israel was gradually weakening: beginning with the division of the nation into two kingdoms, then the Northern kingdom was fallen into the Assyrian hands, and lastly, the Southern kingdom was fallen into the Babylonian hands.

            The falling of David’s line was caused by the kings and the Israelites’ disobedience. They didn’t worship God but followed after the Gentile’s foreign gods. They didn’t keep God’s law but did whatever they wanted and listened to their Gentile queens.

            To help them to recognize and to return to the true love, God must let them to be fallen into their enemies’ hands and to greatly suffer in exiles. But it is God Himself who gave the scattered Israelites an opportunity to come back to their country so that they could rebuild the temple and re-establish their country when they recognized their sins, repented and asked for His mercy.

            The prophet Amos foresaw the future when God has mercy on the Israelites, they are not only recovered their lost country but also widened their boundary and increased population. What the prophet wanted to emphasize here is that when the Messiah’s reign comes, he shall cause many nations to recognize and to believe in God. They shall be added to the Israelites and be counted as God’s people.

1.2/ They shall never again be plucked from the land I have given them: The images which the prophet Amos used to describe what God shall bestow on the Israelites when they repent and reformed their life. They shall have food to eat and clothes to wear because God shall bless their harvest. God shall recover for them what they have lost: “I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits. I will plant them upon their own ground; never again shall they be plucked from the land I have given them, say I, the Lord, your God.”

            They shall not have to worry that they plant without a harvest. God shall protect them from their enemies and they shall not be afraid to be on exiles and slavery for their northern enemies. Once God brings them home, they shall not be on exile any more.

2/ Gospel: “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?”

2.1/ Fasting must have a purpose: When people do anything, they do it for a purpose, not doing out of enthusiasm, nor according to fashion, nor because others are doing it. An example of doing thing without a purpose was reported by Matthew in today passage. The disciples of John approached Jesus and said to him, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast (much), but your disciples do not fast?"

            Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” His answer reminded the John Baptist’s disciples that one of purposes in fasting is for people to live their relationship with God. If they are living that relationship as the disciples live their relationship with Jesus, they don’t need to fast yet. They shall fast when Jesus leaves them or when they are living far away from God and want to return to him.

2.2/ People must have a new spirit to receive a new doctrine: If people want to be advance, they must have a spirit or an attitude to learn new things; if not, they shall hold on to what they have and refuse to change. Jesus gave two examples and invited people to consider:

            (1) No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth: "for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse." New clothe has a dilation stronger than old clothe because it wasn’t washed much. If one patches old clothe with a piece of unshrunken cloth, it shall dilate more and make the tear gets worse.

            (2) People do not put new wine into old wineskins: "Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved."

            A modern example helps us to understand easier. New softwares must be used with new computers because they require more memory space and a faster speed which old computers can’t meet. If a person tried to use new softwares with his old computer without updating, he shall only be failure.

            Similarly in the intellectual area, in order to understand a tradition of a nation, the researcher must put himself in the local circumstance and thinking; it not, he shall never understand the local tradition and he is easy to have a wrong judgment. In order to receive Jesus’ new teaching, the audience must have a humble and opening attitude. If they think the law are perfect as the scribes, they shall never want to receive Jesus’ new teachings.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - We shouldn’t be stubborn to stay in falsities and sins, but have a spirit of study and advance to recognize what need to be discarded or changed for our life to be better.

            - We should follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. He shall help us to recognize the truth from many falsities. He shall help us to correct our old man and to renew to be a new man. 

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