Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 (Hos 2:16, 17b-18, 21-22):

Thus says the LORD:
I will allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak to her heart.
She shall respond there as in the days of her youth,
when she came up from the land of Egypt.

On that day, says the LORD,
She shall call me "My husband,"
and never again "My baal."

I will espouse you to me forever:
I will espouse you in right and in justice,
in love and in mercy;
I will espouse you in fidelity,
and you shall know the LORD.

Gospel (Mt 9:18-26)

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
"My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live."
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured."
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
"Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you."
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official's house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping."
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.


Fr. Anthony Dinh Minh Tien, O.P.

 

I. THEME: Take love to conquer love.

             

            Normally, people can forgive all kinds of sins except the betraying of love. When this happens, people often want to terminate the relationship by divorce or separation; and don’t want anyone to mention the name of the betrayer. But this is not the way to solve for God and the faithful. If God chooses to solve as such, no one in this world shall survive because all betrayed Him many times.

            Today readings concentrate on the way to solve the betraying by love. In the first reading, the prophet Hosea compared the relationship between God and the Israelites as the relationship between husband and wife; and the worship of foreign gods as prostitution. Though the Israelites betrayed God by worshipped Baal, God is still loyal in His love and did all possible ways to help them to recognize their sins and to return to His true love. In the Gospel, Jesus specially concerned and healed two “unclean” patients. One woman who suffered hemorrhage for twelve years, but with a strong faith, she came from behind and touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed. A little girl died; but with a strong faith of her father, Jairus, she was raised from death by Jesus.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: God wants to be loved by people.

1.1/ The Israelites betrayed God’s love: When Israel was divided by two, king Jeroboam of the Northern kingdom, out of his political and economic ambition, made two golden calves and commanded people to worship them so that they no longer went down to Jerusalem temple. He put one calf at Dan, the boundary between Israel and Syria, the other one at Bethel, the boundary between the Northern and the Southern kingdom. Baal in Hebrew means either master, god or husband. Baal is the common name to indicate all gods which are not God.

            The prophet Hosea was sent by God to practice his prophetic mission in Northern kingdom. He compared the relationship between God and the Israelites as the relationship between husband and wife. God is the loyal husband while the Israelites are the adulterous woman who worshipped Baal. God was angry with the Israelites, but He want them to be back to Him.

            God must punish the Israelites, not out of hatred, but to let them greatly suffer so that they shall recognize who is truly love them and returned to Him. He said through Hosea’s words: “I will lay waste her vines and fig trees, of which she said, "These are the hire my lovers have given me"; I will turn them into rank growth and wild beasts shall devour them. I will punish her for the days of the Baals, for whom she burnt incense while she decked herself out with her rings and her jewels, and, in going after her lovers, forgot me, says the Lord.”

1.2/ God is always loyal to his love for the Israelites: If God didn’t punish, the Israelites shall continue to worship foreign gods and to live an unjust and immoral life, and God shall loose them for ever. But if God punishes, He might save a remnant who shall recognize His true love and return to Him. The prophet Hosea foresaw the day which the Israel shall be destroyed and people on exile. He compared the days on exile as the days the Israelites were on deserts. God is able to talk with them in suffering than in richess. God said, “So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. From there I will give her the vineyards she had, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. On that day, says the Lord, she shall call me "My husband," and never again "My baal."”

            Punishments have only medicinal purpose; they help the Israelites to recognize who is the true husband. When the Israelites recognize their sins, repent, and return to God, He shall bring them back to re-establish their country. He shall continue to bless and to protect them. He said to them, “I will make a covenant for them on that day, with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the things that crawl on the ground. Bow and sword and war I will destroy from the land, and I will let them take their rest in security.”

2/ Gospel: Jesus had power to heal and to raise the dead.

2.1/ Jesus healed the hemorrhaged woman: There are two questions that related to the healing, and two parallel passages of Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56 shall clarify Matthew’s short passage.

            (1) Why the woman didn’t ask Jesus to heal her? First, the Law prohibits to touch the bleeding woman as this one because it is unclean (Lv 15:25). The woman might avoid for Jesus to be “publicly” unclean, she thought that “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” Or she could think that how a sick woman can compete with a crowd to be in front of Jesus and ask for a healing. Whatever reason, she showed a very strong faith in Jesus. According to Mark, though she endured this sickness and tried to heal it for twelve years without a result, but she thought that she only need to touch Jesus’ cloak, she shall be healed.

            (2) Why did Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” Markan passage gave a hint that Jesus felt a power that escaped him. That is the moment of the encounter of faith, why should Jesus not recognize it? Jesus clearly knew who touched him; but he wanted the woman to come forward due to many reasons. First, he wanted to confirm that faith can achieve all thing when he said to her, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” Next, he wanted to teach the crowd the strength of faith. Lastly, he might want to let the woman know he cared for her and not concerned her uncleaniness.

2.2/ Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from dead: Markan and Lukan accounts clearly described this official is Jairus, the head of the synagogue. His humility, expressed by his kneeling down before Jesus to ask for a favor for his daughter, touched Jesus’ heart. He agreed to come to his house to raise his daughter.

            Being the head of the synagogue, he knew that the law prohibits to touch a death body because it is unclean; but out of his deep love for his daughter, he asked Jesus, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”

            “When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping." And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.”

            Why did Jesus say, “The girl is not dead but sleeping.” Jesus might want to teach people that death is only a long sleep, not the end; when they open their eyes, they shall be resurrected with God.

           

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - When we take love to conquer love, we shall protect both love and life. Divorce, breaking up or separation only brings hatred and death. If God could love us even we betrayed Him, why we could not love our betrayer?

            - God is the only One who truly love us, we should never betray His love for ever. 

Donation (credit card)

Thanks for your supporting.

Amount: